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A   HISTORY    OF    THE    INQUISITION 

Vol.  III. 


WORKS    BY   THE   SAME   AUTHOR. 

A  HISTORY  OF  THE  INQUISITION  OF  SPAIN.  In  four  vol- 
umes, octavo. 

A  HISTORY  OF  AURICULAR  CONFESSION  AND  INDUL- 
GENCES IN  THE  LATIN  CHURCH.  In  three  volumes,  oc- 
tavo. 

AN  HISTORICAL  SKETCH  OF  SACERDOTAL  CELIBACY  IN 
THE  CHRISTIAN  CHURCH.  Third  edition.  (In  prepara- 
tion.) 

A  FORMULARY  OF  THE  PAPAL  PENITENTIARY  IN 
THE  THIRTEENTH  CENTURY.  One  volume,  octavo.  (Out 
of  print.) 

SUPERSTITION  AND  FORCE.  Essays  on  The  Wager  of  Law, 
The  Wager  of  Battle,  The  Ordeal,  Torture.  Fourth  edition,  re- 
vised.    In  one  volume,  12mo. 

STUDIES  IN  CHURCH  HISTORY.  The  Else  of  the  Temporal 
Power,  Benefit  of  Clergy,  Excommunication,  The  Early  Church 
and  slavery.     Second  edition.     In  one  volume,  12mo. 

CHAPTERS  FROM  THE  RELIGIOUS  HISTORY  OF  SPAIN, 
CONNECTED  WITH  THE  INQUISITION.  Censorship  of  the 
Press,  Mystics  and  Illuminati,  Endemoniadas,  El  Santo  Nino  de  la 
Guardia,  Brianda  de  Bardaxi.     In  one  volume,  12mo. 

THE  MORISCOS  OF  SPAIN.  THEIR  CONVERSION  AND 
EXPULSION.     In  one  volume,  12mo. 


A   HISTORY  OF 


THE    INQUISITION 


OP 


THE    MIDDLE    AGES. 


BY 
HENRY   CHAKLES   LEA,   LL.D. 


IN   THREE   VOLUMES. 

Vol.  III. 


THE   MACMILLAN   COMPANY 

LONDON:  MACMILLAN  &  CO.  Ltd. 
1906 

All  rights  reserved 


NOV      9  1«lfl 

Copyright,  1887,  by  Harper  &  Brothers. 


First  published  elsewhere.     Reprinted  February,  1906. 


All  rights  reset  ved. 


Xorrxmorj  ^rcss. 
Berwick  &  Smith  Co.,  Norwood.  Mass.,  U.S.A. 


CONTENTS. 


BOOK  III.— SPECIAL  FIELDS  OF  INQUISITORIAL  ACTIVITY. 
Chapter  I. — The  Spiritual  Franciscans. 

Page 

Dissensions  in  the  Franciscan  Order  from  Elias  to  John  of  Parma  .     .  1 

Joachim  of  Flora. — His  Reputation  as  a  Prophet 10 

His  Apocalyptic  Speculations  as  to  the  Third  Era 14 

Adopted  by  the  Spiritual  Franciscans 18 

The  Everlasting  Gospel. — Its  Condemnation 20 

The  Spirituals  Compromised. — John  of  Parma  Removed 23 

Persistence  of  the  Joachites 25 

Increasing  Strife  over  Poverty 27 

Bull  Exiit  qui  seminat 30 

Persecution  of  Italian  Spirituals 32 

The  French  Spirituals. — Jean  Pierre  Olivi 42 

Arnaldo  de  Vilanova 52 

Disputation  before  Clement  V. — Decision  of  Council  of  Vienne  .     .     .  57 

Renewed  Persecution  of  the  Spirituals 61 

Commencement  of  Rebellion. — Dissensions  among  Them 62 

Election  of  John  XXII. — His  Character 66 

He  Enforces  Obedience  and  Creates  a  Heresy 69 

Bloody  Persecution  of  the  Olivists 73 

They  Form  a  New  Church 79 

Their  Fanaticism. — Naprous  Boneta .81 

Suppression  of  the  Sect. — Its  Career  in  Aragon 84 

Jean  de  la  Rochetaillade. — Remains  of  Joachitism 86 

Chapter  II. — Guglielma  and  Dolcino. 

Incarnation  of  Holy  Ghost  in  Guglielma 90 

The  Guglielmites  Form  a  New  Church 94 

Prosecuted  by  tho  Inquisition 98 


vi  CONTENTS. 

Page 

Fate  of  the  Sectaries 100 

The  Order  of  Apostles. — Spiritual  Tendencies 103 

Gherardo  Segarelli. — Burned  in  1300 104 

Dolcino  Assumes  the  Leadership 109 

His  Open  Revolt. — Suppressed  after  Four  Crusades 113 

Continuance  and  Character  of  the  Heresy 120 

Chapter  III. — The  Fraticelli. 

Question  Raised  as  to  the  Poverty  of  Christ 129 

Reaction  against  the  Holiness  of  Poverty 130 

Doctrine  of  the  Poverty  of  Christ  Declared  a  Heresy 134 

It  Complicates  the  Quarrel  with  Louis  of  Bavaria 135 

Marsiglio  of  Padua  and  William  of  Ockham 139 

Gradual  Estrangement  of  the  Franciscans 142 

Louis  Deposes  John  XXII.  as  a  Heretic 145 

Michele  da  Cesena  Revolts 147 

Utility  of  the  Inquisition. — Submission  of  the  Antipope     .     .     .     .  149 

Struggle  in  Germany. — The  Franciscans  Support  Louis 153 

Louis  gradually  Gains  Strength. — His  Death 156 

Dissident  Franciscans  Known  as  Fraticelli 158 

Sympathy  for  them  under  Persecution 160 

Their  Tenets 162 

Fraticelli  in  France  and  Spain 167 

Orthodox  Ascetism. — Jesuats. — Observantines 171 

The  Observantines  Replace  and  Suppress  the  Fraticelli 174 

Chapter  IV. — Political  Heresy  Utilized  by  the  Church. 

Denial  of  Papal  Claims  Pronounced  Heresy 181 

The  Stedingers. — Tithes  Enforced  by  Crusades 182 

Crusades  to  Support  Italian  Interests  of  Papacy 189 

Importance  of  Inquisition  as  a  Political  Agency 190 

Advantage  of  the  Charge  of  Heresy 191 

Manfred  of  Naples. — The  Colonnas. — Ferrara 193 

John  XXII.  and  the  Visconti 196 

Cola  di  Rienzo. — The  Maffredi 203 

Use  of  Inquisition  in  the  Great  Schism 204 

Case  of  Thomas  Connecte 208 

Girolamo  Savonarola     .     . 209 


CONTENTS.  vii 
Chapter  V. — Political  Heresy  Utilized  by  the  State. 

Par* 

Use  of  Inquisition  by  Secular  Potentates 238 

The  Templars. — Growth  and  Relations  of  the  Order 238 

Causes  of  its  Downfall. — Facilities  Furnished  by  the  Inquisition  249 

Papal  Complicity  Sought. — Use  made  of  Inquisition     .     .     .     .  257 

Errors  Charged  against  the  Templars 263 

The  Question  of  their  Guilt 264 

Vacillation  of  Clement. — The  Assembly  of  Tours 277 

Bargain  between  King  and  Pope. — Clement  Joins  the  Prosecu- 
tion         281 

Prosecution  throughout  Europe. — Its  Methods  in  France  .     .     .  284 

The  Papal  Commission. — Its  Proceedings 289 

Defence  Prevented  by  Burning  those  who  Retract 295 

Proceedings  in  England. — The  Inquisition  Necessary    .     .     .     .  298 

Action  in  Lorraine  and  Germany 301 

In  Italy  and  the  East 304 

In  Spain  and  Majorca 310 

Torture  in  Preparation  for  the  Council  of  Vienne 317 

Arbitrary  Proceedings  Required  at  the  Council 319 

Disposition  of  Property  and  Persons  of  the  Order 322 

Fate  of  de  Molay 325 

Popular  Sympathies 326 

Distribution  of  the  Property  of  the  Order 329 

Case  of  Doctor  Jean  Petit 334 

Case  of  Joan  of  Arc. — Condition  of  the  French  Monarchy  .     .     .     .  338 

Career  of  Joan  up  to  her  Capture 340 

The  Inquisition  Claims  her. — Delivered  to  the  Bishop  of  Beau- 

vais 357 

Her  Trial 360 

Her  Condemnation  and  Execution 372 

Her  Imitators  and  her  Rehabilitation 376 

Chapter  VI. — Sorcery  and  Occult  Arts. 

Satan  and  the  Spirit  World .  379 

Incubi  and  Succubi 383 

Human  Ministers  of  Satan. — Sorcerers 385 

Penalties  under  the  Roman  Law 392 

Struggle  between  Pagan  and  Christian  Theurgy 393 

Repression  of  Sorcery  by  the  Early  Church 395 


.1 


yiii  CONTENTS. 

Magic  Practices  of  the  Barbarians 400 

Leniency  of  Barbarian  Legislation 408 

Legislation  of  Church  and  State  in  Carlovingian  Period 412 

Practical  Toleration  in  Early  Mediaeval  Period 416 

Indifference  of  Secular  Legislation 427 

The  Inquisition  Assumes  Jurisdiction 434 

All  Magic  Becomes  Heretical 435 

Astrology. — Pietro  di  Abano. — Cecco  d'Ascoli 437 

Divination  by  Dreams 446 

Comminatory  Church  Services 447 

The  Inquisition  Stimulates  Sorcery  by  Persecution 448 

Unfortunate  Influence  of  John  XXII 452 

Growth  of  Sorcery  in  the  Fourteenth  Century 454 

Increase  in  the  Fifteenth  Century 464 

Case  of  the  Marechal  de  Rais 468 

Enrique  de  Villena 489 

Chapter  VII. — Witchcraft. 

Its  Origin  in  the  Fifteenth  Century 492 

The  Sabbat. — Regarded1  at  first  as  a  Diabolic  Illusion 493 

Adopted  by  the  Church  as  a  Reality 497 

Its  Ceremonies 500 

Power  and  Malignity  of  the  Witch 501 

TLe  Church  Helpless  to  Counteract  her  Spells 506 

Belief  Stimulated  by  Persecution 508 

Witches  Lose  Power  when  Arrested 509 

Secular  and  Ecclesiastical  Jurisdiction  over  Witchcraft 511 

Inquisitorial  Process  as  Applied  to  Witchcraft 513 

Case  of  the  Witches  of  the  Canavese 518 

Case  of  the  Vaudois  of  Arras 519 

Slow  Development  of  the  Witchcraft  Craze 534 

Stimulated  by  the  Inquisition  and  the  Church    .     . 538 

Influence  of  the  Malleus  Maleficarum 543 

Opposition  to  the  Inquisition. — France. — Cornelius  Agrippa     .     .     .  544 

Opposition  of  Venice. — The  Witches  of  Brescia    .......  546 

Terrible  Development  in  the  Sixteenth  Century 549 

Chapter  VIII. — Intellect  and  Faith. 

Intellectual  Aberrations  not  Dangerous 550 

Theological  Tendencies  and  Development 551 


CONTENTS.  jx 

Roger  Bacon 552 

Nominalism  and  Realism 555 

Rivalry  between  Philosophy  and  Theology 557 

Averrhoism 558 

Toleration  in  Italy  in  the  Fifteenth  Century 565 

Modified  Averrhoism. — Pomponazio. — Nifo 574 

Raymond  Lully 578 

Evolution  of  Dogma. — The  Beatific  Vision 590 

The  Immaculate  Conception 596 

Censorship  of  the  Press 612 

Chapter  IX. — Conclusion. 

Omissions  of  the  Inquisition. — The  Greek  Heretics    .     .     .     .     .     .  616 

Qusestuari,  or  Pardoners 621 

Simony 624 

Demoralization  of  the  Church 627 

Morals  of  the  Laity 641 

Materials  for  the  Improvement  of  Humanity 645 

The  Reformation  Inevitable 647 

Encouraging  Advance  of  Humanity 649 

Appendix  of  Documents 651 

Index 665 


THE   INQUISITION. 


BOOK  III. 

SPECIAL  FIELDS   OF  INQUISITORIAL  ACTIVITY. 


CHAPTER  I. 

THE   SPIRITUAL   FRANCISCANS. 


In  a  former  chapter  we  considered  the  Mendicants  as  an  active 
agency  in  the  suppression  of  heresy.  One  of  the  Orders,  how- 
ever, by  no  means  restricted  itself  to  this  function,  and  we  have 
now  to  examine  the  career  of  the  Franciscans  as  the  subjects  of 
the  spirit  of  persecuting  uniformity  which  they  did  so  much  to 
render  dominant. 

While  the  mission  of  both  Orders  was  to  redeem  the  Church 
from  the  depth  of  degradation  into  which  it  had  sunk,  the  Domin- 
icans were  more  especially  trained  to  take  part  in  the  active  busi- 
ness of  life.  They  therefore  attracted  the  more  restless  and 
aggressive  spirits ;  they  accommodated  themselves  to  the  world, 
like  the  Jesuits  of  later  davs,  and  the  worldliness  which  necessa- 
rily  came  with  success  awakened  little  antagonism  within  the 
organization.  Power  and  luxury  were  welcomed  and  enjoyed. 
Even  Thomas  Aquinas,  who,  as  we  have  seen,  eloquently  defend- 
ed, against  William  of  Saint- Amour,  the  superlative  holiness  of 
absolute  poverty,  subsequently  admitted  that  poverty  should  be 
proportioned  to  the  object  which  an  Order  was  fitted  to  at- 
tain.*   

*  Th.  Aquin.  Sumin.  Sec.  Sec.  Q.  clxxxviii.  art.  7.  ad  1. 
III.— 1 


o  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

t 

It  was  otherwise  'with  the  Franciscans.  Though,  as  we  have 
seen,  the  founders  determined  not  to  render  the  Order  a  simply 
contemplative  one,  the  salvation  of  the  individual  through  re- 
treat from  the  world  and  its  temptations  bore  a  much  larger  part 
in  their  motives  than  in  those  of  Dominic  and  his  followers.* 
Absolute  poverty  and  self-abnegation  were  its  primal  principles, 
and  it  inevitably  drew  to  itself  the  intellects  which  sought  a  ref- 
uge from  the  temptations  of  life  in  self-absorbing  contemplation, 
in  dreamy  speculation,  and  in  the  renunciation  of  all  that  renders 
life  attractive  to  average  human  nature.  As  the  organization 
grew  in  wealth  and  power  there  were  necessarily  developed  within 
its  bosom  antagonisms  in  two  directions.  On  the  one  hand,  it 
nourished  a  spirit  of  mysticism,  which,  though  recognized  in  its 
favorite  appellation  of  the  Seraphic  Order,  sometimes  found  the 
trammels  of  orthodoxy  oppressive.  On  the  other,  the  men  who 
continued  to  cherish  the  views  of  the  founders  as  to  the  supreme 
obligation  of  absolute  poverty  could  not  reconcile  their  consciences 
to  the  accumulation  of  wealth  and  its  display  in  splendor,  and 
they  rejected  the  ingenious  devices  which  sought  to  accommo- 
date the  possession  of  riches  with  the  abnegation  of  all  posses- 
sion. 

In  fact,  the  three  vows,  of  poverty,  obedience,  and  chastity, 
were  all  equally  impossible  of  absolute  observance.  The  first 
was  irreconcilable  with  human  necessities,  the  others  with  human 
passions.  As  for  chastity,  the  whole  history  of  the  Church  shows 
the  impracticability  of  its  enforcement.     As  for  obedience,  in  the 


*  Even  the  great  Franciscan  preacher,  Berthold  of  Ratisbon  (who  died  in 
1272)  will  concede  only  qualified  merit  to  those  who  labor  to  save  the  souls  of 
their  fellow-creatures,  and  such  labors  can  easily  be  carried  to  excess.  The  duty 
which  a  man  owes  to  his  own  soul,  in  prayer  and  devotion,  is  of  much  greater 
moment.  —  Beati  Fr.  Bertholdi  a  Ratisbona  Sermones  (Monachii,  1882,  p.  29). 
See  also  his  comparison  of  the  contemplative  with  the  active  life.  The  former 
is  Rachael,the  latter  is  Leah,  and  is  most  perilous  when  wholly  devoted  to  good 
works  (lb.  pp.  44-5). 

So  the  great  Spiritual  Franciscan,  Pierre  Jean  Olivi — "Est  igitur  totius  ra- 
tionis  summa,  quod  contemplatio  est  ex  suo  genere  perfectior  omni  alia  actione," 
though  he  admits  that  a  lesser  portion  of  time  may  allowably  be  devoted  to  the 
salvation  of  fellow-creatures. — Franz  Ehrle,  Archiv  fur  Litteratur-  und  Kirchen- 
geschichtc,  1887,  p.  503. 


THE  QUESTION  OF  POVERTY.  3 

sense  attached  to  it  of  absolute  renunciation  of  the  will,  its  in- 
compatibility with  the  conduct  of  human  affairs  was  shown  at  an 
early  period,  when  Friar  Haymo  of  Feversham  overthrew  Gregory, 
the  Provincial  of  Paris,  and,  not  long  afterwards,  withstood  the 
general  Elias,  and  procured  his  deposition.  As  for  poverty,  we 
shall  see  to  what  inextricable  complications  it  led,  despite  the 
efforts  of  successive  popes,  until  the  imperious  will  and  resolute 
common-sense  of  John  XXII.  brought  the  Order  from  its  seraphic 
heights  down  to  the  every-day  necessities  of  human  life — at  the 
cost,  it  must  be  confessed,  of  a  schism.  The  trouble  was  increased 
by  the  fact  that  St.  Francis,  foreseeing  the  efforts  which  would  be 
made  to  evade  the  spirit  of  the  Rule,  had,  in  his  Testament,  strictly 
forbidden  all  alterations,  glosses,  and  explanations,  and  had  com- 
manded that  these  instructions  should  be  read  in  all  chapters 
of  the  Order.  With  the  growth  of  the  Franciscan  legend, 
moreover,  the  Rule  was  held  to  be  a  special  divine  revelation, 
equal  in  authority  to  the  gospel,  and  St.  Francis  was  glorified  until 
he  became  a  being  rather  divine  than  human.* 

Even  before  the  death  of  the  founder,  in  1226,  a  Franciscan  is 
found  in  Paris  openly  teaching  heresies — of  what  nature  we  are 
not  told,  but  probably  the  mystic  reveries  of  an  overwrought 
brain.  As  yet  there  was  no  Inquisition,  and,  as  he  was  not  sub- 
ject to  episcopal  jurisdiction,  he  was  brought  before  the  papal 
legate,  where  he  asserted  many  things  contrary  to  the  orthodox 
faith,  and  was  imprisoned  for  life.  This  foreshadowed  much  that 
was  to  follow,  though  there  is  a  long  interval  before  we  hear 
again  of  similar  examples,  f 

The  more  serious  trouble  concerning  poverty  was  not  long  in 
developing  itself.  Next  to  St.  Francis  himself  in  the  Order  stood 
Elias.  Before  Francis  went  on  his  mission  to  convert  the  Soldan 
he  had  sent  Elias  as  provincial  beyond  the  sea,  and  on  his  return 
from  the  adventure  he  brought  Elias  home  with  him.  At  the 
first  general  chapter,  held  in  1221,  Francis  being  too  much  en- 


*  Thom.  de  Eccleston  de  Adventu  Minorum  Coll.  v. — S.  Francis.  Testament. 
(Opp.  1849,  p.  48). — Nicolai.  PP.  III.  Bull.  Exiitqui  seminat  (Lib.  v.  Sexto  xii.  3). 
—Lib.  Sententt.  Inq.  Tolos.  pp.  301,  303. 

tChron.  Turonens.  ann.  1326  (D.  Bouquet,  XVIII.  319).  —  Alberic.  Trium 
Font.  Chron.  ann.  1228. 


4  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

feebled  to  preside,  Elias  acted  as  spokesman  and  Francis  sat  at 
his  feet,  pulling  his  gown  when  he  wanted  anything  said.  In 
1223  we  hear  of  Caesarius,  the  German  provincial,  going  to  Italy 
"  to  the  blessed  Francis  or  the  Friar  Elias."  When,  through  in- 
firmity or  inability  to  maintain  discipline,  Francis  retired  from 
the  generalate,  Elias  was  vicar-general  of  the  Order,  to  whom 
Francis  submitted  himself  as  humbly  as  the  meanest  brother,  and 
on  the  death  of  the  saint,  in  October,  1226,  it  was  Elias  who  noti- 
fied the  brethren  throughout  Europe  of  the  event,  and  informed 
them  of  the  Stigmata,  which  the  humility  of  Francis  had  always 
concealed.  Although  in  February,  1227,  Giovanni  Parent i  of  Flor- 
ence, was  elected  general,  Elias  seems  practically  to  have  retained 
control.  Parties  were  rapidly  forming  themselves  in  the  Order, 
and  the  lines  between  them  were  ever  more  sharply  drawn.  Elias 
was  worldly  and  ambitious ;  he  had  the  reputation  of  being  one 
of  the  ablest  men  of  affairs  in  Italy ;  he  could  foresee  the  power 
attaching  to  the  command  of  the  Order,  and  he  had  not  much 
scruple  as  to  the  means  of  attaining  it.  He  undertook  the  erec- 
tion of  a  magnificent  church  at  Assisi  to  receive  the  bones  of  the 
humble  Francis,  and  he  was  unsparing  in  his  demands  for  money 
to  aid  in  its  construction.  The  very  handling  of  money  was  an 
abomination  in  the  eyes  of  all  true  brethren,  yet  all  the  prov- 
inces were  called  upon  to  contribute,  and  a  marble  coffer  was 
placed  in  front  of  the  building  to  receive  the  gifts  of  the  pious. 
This  was  unendurable,  and  Friar  Leo  went  to  Perugia  to  consult 
with  the  blessed  Gilio,  who  had  been  the  third  associate  to  join 
St.  Francis,  who  said  it  was  contrary  to  the  precepts  of  the  found- 
er. "  Shall  I  break  it,  then  ?"  inquired  Leo.  "  Yes,"  replied  Gilio, 
k>  if  you  are  dead,  but  if  you  are  alive,  let  it  alone,  for  you  will 
not  be  able  to  endure  the  persecution  of  Elias."  Notwithstand- 
ing this  warning,  Leo  went  to  Assisi,  and  with  the  assistance  of 
some  comrades  broke  the  coffer ;  Elias  filled  all  Assisi  with  his 
wrath,  and  Leo  took  refuge  in  a  hermitage.* 


*  Frat.  Jordani  Chron.  c.  9,  14,  17,  31,  50  (Analecta  Franciscana,  Quaracchi, 
1885,  I.  4-6,  11,  16).— S.  Francis.  Testament.  (Opp.  p.  47);  Ejusd.  Epistt.  vi., 
vii.,  viii.  (lb.  10-11).— Auioni  Legenda  S.  Francisci,  p.  106  (Roma,  1880).— Wad- 
ding, ann.  1229,  No.  2.— Chron.  Glassberger  ann.  1227  (Analect.  Franciscana  II 
p.  45). 


ELIAS   GENERAL    MINISTER  5 

When  the  edifice  was  sufficiently  advanced,  a  general  chapter 
was  held  in  1230  to  solemnize  the  translation  of  the  saintly  corpse. 
Elias  sought  to  utilize  the  occasion  for  his  own  election  to  the 
generalate  by  summoning  to  it  only  those  brethren  on  whose 
support  he  could  reckon,  but  Giovanni  got  wind  of  this  and  made 
the  summons  general.  Elias  then  caused  the  translation  to  be  ef- 
fected before  the  brethren  had  assembled ;  his  faction  endeavored 
to  forestall  the  action  of  the  chapter  by  carrying  him  from  his 
cell,  breaking  open  the  doors,  and  placing  him  in  the  general's 
seat.  Giovanni  appeared,  and  after  tumultuous  proceedings  his 
friends  obtained  the  upper  hand ;  the  disturbers  were  scattered 
among  the  provinces,  and  Elias  retreated  to  a  hermitage,  where 
he  allowed  his  hair  and  beard  to  grow,  and  through  this  show  of 
sanctity  obtained  reconciliation  to  the  Order.  Finally,  in  the 
chapter  of  1232,  his  ambition  was  rewarded.  Giovanni  was  de- 
posed and  he  was  elected  general.* 

These  turbulent  intrigues  were  not  the  only  evidence  of  the 
rapid  degeneracy  of  the  Order.  Before  Francis's  Testament  was 
five  years  old  his  commands  against  evasions  of  the  Rule  by  cun- 
ning interpretations  had  been  disregarded.  The  chapter  of  1231 
had  applied  to  Gregory  IX.  to  know  whether  the  Testament  was 
binding  upon  them  in  this  respect,  and  he  replied  in  the  negative, 
for  Francis  could  not  bind  his  successors.  They  also  asked  about 
the  prohibition  to  hold  money  and  property,  and  Gregory  ingen- 
iously suggested  that  this  could  be  effected  through  third  par- 
ties, who  could  hold  money  and  pay  debts  for  them,  arguing  that 
such  persons  should  not  be  regarded  as  their  agents,  but  as  the 
agents  of  those  who  gave  the  money  or  of  those  to  whom  it  was 
to  be  paid.  These  elusory  glosses  of  the  Rule  were  not  accepted 
without  an  energetic  opposition  which  threatened  a  schism,  and  it 
is  easy  to  imagine  the  bitterness  with  which  the  sincere  members 
of  the  Order  watched  its  rapid  degeneracy  ;  nor  was  this  bitterness 
diminished  by  the  use  which  Elias  made  of  his  position.  His  car- 
nality and  cruelty,  we  are  told,  convulsed  the  whole  Order.  His 
rule  was  arbitrary,  and  for  seven  years,  in  defiance  of  the  regula- 
tions, he  held  no  general  chapter.     He  levied  exactions  on  all  the 


*  Thomae  de  Eccleston  Collat.  xn.— Jordani  Chron.  c.  01  (Analecta  Franc.  L 
19).— Cbron.  Anon.  (lb.  I.  289). 


6  THE    SPIRITUAL   FRANCISCANS. 

provinces  to  complete  the  great  structure  at  Assisi.  Those  who 
resisted  him  were  relegated  to  distant  places.  Even  while  yet  only 
vicar  he  had  caused  St.  Anthony  of  Padua,  who  had  come  to  As- 
sisi to  worship  at  the  tomb  of  Francis,  to  be  scourged  to  the  blood, 
when  Anthony  only  expostulated  with,  "  May  the  blessed  God  for- 
give you,  brethren !"  "Worse  was  the  fate  of  Caesarius  of  Speier, 
who  had  been  appointed  Provincial  of  Germany  in  1221  by  St. 
Francis  himself,  and  had  built  up  the  Order  to  the  north  of  the 
Alps.  He  was  the  leader  of  the  puritan  malcontents,  who  were 
known  as  Caesarians,  and  he  felt  the  full  wrath  of  Elias.  Thrown 
into  prison,  he  lay  there  in  chains  for  two  years.  At  length  the 
fetters  were  removed,  and,  early  in  1239,  his  jailer  having  left  the 
door  of  his  cell  open,  he  ventured  forth  to  stretch  his  cramped 
limbs  in  the  wintry  sun.  The  jailer  returned  and  thought  that  he 
was  attempting  to  escape.  Fearing  the  pitiless  anger  of  Elias,  he 
rushed  after  the  prisoner  and  dealt  him  a  mortal  blow  with  a 
cudgel.  Caesarius  was  the  first,  but  by  no  means  the  last,  martyr 
who  shed  his  blood  for  the  strict  observance  of  a  Eule  breathing 
nothing  but  love  and  charity.* 

The  cup  at  last  was  full  to  overflowing.  In  1237  Elias  had 
sent  visitors  to  the  different  provinces  whose  conduct  caused 
general  exasperation.  The  brethren  of  Saxony  appealed  to  him 
from  their  visitor,  and,  finding  this  fruitless,  they  carried  their  com- 
plaint to  Gregory.  The  pope  at  length  was  roused  to  intervene. 
A  general  chapter  was  convened  in  1239,  when,  after  a  stormy 
scene  in  presence  of  Gregory  and  nine  cardinals,  the  pope  finally 
announced  to  Elias  that  his  resignation  would  be  received.  Pos- 
sibly in  this  there  may  have  been  political  as  well  as  ascetic  mo- 
tives. Elias  was  a  skilful  negotiator,  and  was  looked  upon  with  a 
friendly  eye  by  Frederic  II.,  who  forthwith  declared  that  the  dis- 


*  Gregor.  PP.  IX.  Bull.  Quo  ehngati  (Pet.  Rodulphii  Hist.  Seraph.  Relig.  Lib.  n. 
fol.  164-5).— Rodulphii  op.  cit.  Lib.  n.  fol.  177.— Chron.  Glassberger,  ann.  1230, 
1231  (Analecta  II.  50,  56).— Frat.  Jordan!  Chron.  c.  18,  19,  61  (Analecta  I.  7,  8,' 
19).— Franz  Ehrle  (Archiv  fur  Litt.-  u.  Kirchengeschichte,  1886,  p.  123).— Wad- 
ding, ann.  1239,  No.  5. 

The  ingenious  casuistry  with  which  the  Conventuals  satisfied  themselves  that 
the  device  of  Gregory  IX.  enabled  them  to  grow  rich  without  transgressing  the 
Rule  is  seen  in  their  defence  before  Clement  VI,  in  1311,  as  printed  by  Franz 
Ehrle  (Archiv  fur  Litt.-  u.  Kirchengeschichte,  1887,  pp.  107-8). 


TWO    PARTIES    FORMED.  7 

missal  was  done  in  his  despite,  for  Elias  was  at  the  time  engaged 
in  an  effort  to  heal  the  irremediable  breach  between  the  papacy 
and  the  empire.  Certain  it  is  that  Elias  at  once  took  refuge  with 
Frederic  and  became  his  intimate  companion.  Gregory  made  an 
effort  to  capture  him  by  inviting  him  to  a  conference.  Failing  in 
this,  a  charge  was  brought  against  him  of  visiting  poor  women  at 
Cortona  without  permission,  and  on  refusing  to  obey  a  summons 
he  was  excommunicated.* 

Thus  already  in  the  Franciscan  Order  there  were  established 
two  well-defined  parties,  which  came  to  be  known  as  the  Spirituals 
and  the  Conventuals,  the  one  adhering  to  the  strict  letter  of  the 
Rule,  the  other  willing  to  find  excuses  for  its  relaxation  in  obedi- 
ence to  the  wants  of  human  nature  and  the  demands  of  worldli- 
ness.  After  the  fall  of  Elias  the  former  had  the  supremacy  dur- 
ing the  brief  generalates  of  Alberto  of  Pisa,  and  Hay  mo  of  Fever- 
sham.  In  1244  the  Conventuals  triumphed  in  the  election  of  Cres- 
cenzio  Grizzi  da  Jesi,  under  whom  occurred  what  the  Spirituals 
reckoned  as  the  "  Third  Tribulation,"  for,  in  accordance  with  their 
apocalyptic  speculations,  they  were  to  undergo  seven  tribulations 
before  the  reign  of  the  Holy  Ghost  should  usher  in  the  Millennium. 
Crescenzio  followed  in  the  footsteps  of  Elias.  Under  Hay  mo,  in 
1242,  there  had  been  an  attempt  to  reconcile  with  the  Rule  Greg- 
ory's declaration  of  1231.  Four  leading  doctors  of  the  Order,  with 
Alexander  Hales  at  their  head,  had  issued  the  Declaratio  Quatuor 
Magistrorum,  but  even  their  logical  subtlety  had  failed.  The  Or- 
der was  constantly  growing,  it  was  constantly  acquiring  property, 


*  Jordani  Chron.  c.  62,  63  (Analecta  I.  18-19).— Thomae  de  Eccleston  Collat. 
xii. — Chron.  Glassberger,  aim.  1239  (Analecta  II.  60-1).  —  Huillard-Brgholles, 
In  trod.  p.  Din. ;  lb.  VI.  69-70. 

Elias  still  managed  to  excite  disturbance  in  the  Order;  he  died  excommuni- 
cate, and  a  zealous  Franciscan  guardian  had  his  remains  dug  up  and  cast  upon 
a  dunghill.  Fra"  Salimbene  gives  full  details  of  his  evil  ways,  and  the  tyran- 
nous maladministration  which  precipitated  his  downfall.  After  his  secession  to 
Frederic  II.  a  popular  rhyme  was  current  throughout  Italy — 

"  Hor  attorna  fratt  Helya, 
Ke  pres'  ha  la  mala  via." 

Salimbene  Chronica,  Parma,  1857,  pp.  401-13. 

Affd,  however,  asserts  that  he  was  absolved  on  his  death-bed. — Vita  del  Beato 
Gioanni  di  Parma,  Parma,  1777,  p.  31.     Cf.  Chron.  Glassberger  ann.  1243^4. 


g  THE    SPIRITUAL   FRANCISCANS. 

and  its  needs  were  constantly  increasing.  A  bull  of  Gregory  IX. 
in  1239,  authorizing  the  Franciscans  of  Paris  to  acquire  additional 
land  with  which  to  enlarge  their  monastery  of  Saint-Germain-des- 
Pres,  is  an  example  of  what  was  going  on  all  over  Europe.  In 
124:4:,  at  the  chapter  which  elected  Crescenzio,  the  Englishman, 
John  Kethene,  succeeded,  against  the  opposition  of  nearly  the 
whole  body  of  the  assembly,  in  obtaining  the  rejection  of  Greg- 
ory's definition,  but  the  triumph  of  the  Puritans  was  short-lived. 
Crescenzio  sympathized  with  the  laxer  party,  and  applied  to  In- 
nocent IV.  for  relief.  In  1245  the  pope  responded  with  a  decla- 
ration in  which  he  not  only  repeated  the  device  of  Gregory  IX. 
by  authorizing  deposits  of  money  with  parties  who  were  to  be  re- 
garded as  the  agents  of  donors  and  creditors,  but  ingeniously  as- 
sumed that  houses  and  lands,  the  ownership  of  which  was  forbid- 
den to  the  Order,  should  be  regarded  as  belonging  to  the  Holy 
See,  which  granted  their  use  to  the  friars.  Even  papal  authority 
could  not  render  these  transparent  subterfuges  satisfying  to  the 
consciences  of  the  Spirituals,  and  the  growing  worldliness  of  the 
Order  provoked  continuous  agitation.  Crescenzio  before  taking 
the  vows  had  been  a  jurist  and  physician,  and  there  was  further 
complaint  that  he  encouraged  the  brethren  in  acquiring  the  vain 
and  sterile  science  of  Aristotle  rather  than  in  studying  divine  wis- 
dom. Under  Simone  da  Assisi,  Giacopo  Manf  redo,  Matteo  da  Monte 
Eubiano,  and  Lucido,  seventy-two  earnest  brethren,  finding  Cres- 
cenzio deaf  to  their  remonstrances,  prepared  to  appeal  to  Innocent. 
He  anticipated  them,  and  obtained  from  the  pope  in  advance  a 
decision  under  which  he  scattered  the  recalcitrants  in  couples 
throughout  the  provinces  for  punishment.  Fortunately  his  reign 
was  short.  Tempted  by  the  bishopric  of  Jesi,  he  resigned,  and 
in  1248  was  succeeded  by  Giovanni  Borelli,  better  known  as 
John  of  Parma,  who  at  the  time  was  professor  of  theology  in 
the  University  of  Paris.* 


*  Thoinae  de  Ecclest.  Collat.  vin.,  xn.— Wadding,  aun.  1242.  No.  2;  ann. 
1245,  No.  16. — Potthast  No.  10825.— Angeli  Clarinens.  Epist.  Excusator  (Franz 
Ehrle,  Archiv  fur  Litt.-  u.  Kirchengeschichte,  1885,  p.  535;  1886,  pp.  113,  117, 
120).— Hist.  Tribulation.  (lb.  1886,  pp.  256  sqq.). 

The  Historia  Tribulationum  reflects  the  contempt  of  the  Spirituals  for  human 
learning.  Adam  was  led  to  disobedience  by  a  thirst  for  knowledge,  and  returned 
to  grace  by  faith  and  not  by  dialectics,  or  geometry  or  astrology.     The  evil  in* 


JOHN    OF    PARMA.  9 

The  election  of  John  of  Parma  marked  a  reaction  in  favor  of 
strict  observance.  The  new  general  was  inspired  with  a  holy 
zeal  to  realize  the  ideal  of  St.  Francis.  The  exiled  Spirituals  were 
recalled  and  allowed  to  select  their  own  domiciles.  During  the 
first  three  years  John  visited  on  foot  the  whole  Order,  sometimes 
with  two,  and  sometimes  with  only  one  companion,  in  the  most 
humble  guise,  so  that  he  was  unrecognized,  and  could  remain  in  a 
convent  for  several  days,  observing  its  character,  when  he  would 
reveal  himself  and  reform  its  abuses.  In  the  ardor  of  his  zeal  he 
spared  the  feelings  of  no  one.  A  lector  of  the  Mark  of  Ancona, 
returning  home  from  Rome,  described  the  excessive  severity  of  a 
sermon  preached  by  him,  saying  that  the  brethren  of  the  Mark 
would  never  have  allowed  any  one  to  say  such  things  to  them ; 
and  when  asked  why  the  masters  who  were  present  had  not  in- 
terfered, he  replied,  "  How  could  they  ?  It  was  a  river  of  fire 
which  flowed  from  his  lips."  He  suspended  the  declaration  of  In- 
nocent TV.  until  the  pontiff,  better  informed,  could  be  consulted. 
It  was,  however,  impossible  for  him  to  control  the  tendencies  to 
relaxation  of  the  Rule,  which  were  ever  growing  stronger,  and  his 
efforts  to  that  end  only  served  to  strengthen  disaffection  which 
finally  grew  to  determined  opposition.  After  consultation  between 
some  influential  members  of  the  Order  it  was  resolved  to  bring 
before  Alexander  IY.  formal  accusations  against  him  and  the 
friends  who  surrounded  him.  The  attitude  of  the  Spirituals,  in 
fact,  fairly  invited  attack.* 

To  understand  the  position  of  the  Spirituals  at  this  time,  and 


dustry  of  the  arts  of  Aristotle,  and  the  seductive  sweetness  of  Plato's  eloquence 
are  Egyptian  plagues  in  the  Church  (lb.  264-5).  It  was  an  early  tradition 
of  the  Order  that  Francis  had  predicted  its  ruin  through  overmuch  learning 
(Amoni,  Legenda  S.  Francisci,  App.  cap.  xi.). 

Karl  Miiller  (Die  Anfange  des  Minoritenordens,  Freiburg,  1885,  p.  180.)  as- 
serts that  the  election  of  Crescenzio  was  a  triumph  of  the  Puritans,  and  that  lie 
was  known  for  his  flaming  zeal  for  the  rigid  observance  of  the  Rule.  So  far  from 
this  being  the  case,  on  the  very  night  of  his  election  he  scolded  the  zealots  (Th. 
Eccleston  Collat.  xn.),  and  the  history  of  his  generalate  confirms  the  view  taken 
of  him  by  the  Hist.  Tribulationum.  Affo  (Vita  di  Gioanni  di  Parma,  pp.  31-2)  as- 
sumes that  he  endeavored  to  follow  a  middle  course,  and  ended  by  persecuting 
the  irreconcilables. 

*  Hist.  Tribulat.  (loc  cit.  1886,  pp.  267-8,  274).— Affo,  pp.  38-9,  54,  97-8.— 
Wadding,  ann.  1256,  No.  2. 


10  THE   SPIRITUAL   FRANCISCANS. 

subsequently,  it  is  necessary  to  cast  a  glance  at  one  of  the  most 
remarkable  spiritual  developments  of  the  thirteenth  century.  Its 
opening  years  had  witnessed  the  death  of  Joachim  of  Flora,  a 
man  who  may  be  regarded  as  the  founder  of  modern  mysticism. 
Sprung  from  a  rich  and  noble  family,  and  trained  for  the  life  of  a 
courtier  under  Roger  the  Xorman  Duke  of  Apulia,  a  sudden  de- 
sire to  see  the  holy  places  took  him,  while  yet  a  youth,  to  the 
East,  with  a  retinue  of  servitors.  A  pestilence  was  raging  when 
he  reached  Constantinople,  which  so  impressed  him  with  the  mis- 
eries and  vanities  of  life  that  he  dismissed  his  suite  and  continued 
his  voyage  as  an  humble  pilgrim  with  a  single  companion.  His 
legend  relates  that  he  fell  in  the  desert  overcome  with  thirst,  and 
had  a  vision  of  a  man  standing  by  a  river  of  oil,  and  saying  to 
him,  "  Drink  of  this  stream,"  which  he  did  to  satiety,  and  when 
he  awoke,  although  previously  illiterate,  he  had  a  knowledge  of 
all  Scripture.  The  following  Lent  he  passed  in  an  old  well  on 
Mount  Tabor ;  in  the  night  of  the  Resurrection  a  great  splendor 
appeared  to  him,  he  was  tilled  with  divine  light  to  understand  the 
concordance  of  the  Old  and  Xew  Laws,  and  every  difficulty  and 
every  obscurity  vanished.  These  tales,  repeated  until  the  seven- 
teenth century,  show  the  profound  and  lasting  impression  which 
he  left  upon  the  minds  of  men.* 

Thenceforth  his  life  was  dedicated  to  the  service  of  God.  Re- 
turning home,  he  avoided  his  father's  house,  and  commenced  preach- 
ing to  the  people ;  but  this  was  not  permissible  to  a  layman,  so  he 
entered  the  priesthood  and  the  severe  Cistercian  Order.  Chosen 
Abbot  of  Corazzo,  he  fled,  but  was  brought  back  and  forced  to  as- 
sume the  duties  of  the  office,  till  he  visited  Rome,  in  1181,  and  ob- 
tained from  Lucius  III.  permission  to  lay  it  down.  Even  the  severe 
Cistercian  discipline  did  not  satisfy  his  thirst  for  austerity,  and 
he  retired  to  a  hermitage  at  Pietralata,  where  his  reputation  for 
sanctity  drew  disciples  around  him,  and  in  spite  of  his  yearning 
for  solitude  he  found  himself  at  the  head  of  a  new  Order,  of  which 
the  Rule,  anticipating  the  Mendicants  in  its  urgency  of  poverty, 
was  approved  by  Celestin  III.  in  1196.  Already  it  had  spread 
from  the  mother-house  of  San  Giovanni  in  Fiore,  and  numbered 
several  other  monasteries.f 

•  Tocco,  L'Eresia  nel  Medio  Evo,  Firenze,  1884,  pp.  265-70.  —  Profetie  dell' 
Abate  Gioachino,  Venezia,  1646,  p.  8. 

t  Tocco,  op.  cit.  pp.  271-81.— Ccelestin.  PP.  III.  Epist.  279. 


JOACHIM    OF    FLORA.  u 

Joachim  considered  himself  inspired,  and  though  in  1200  he 
submitted  his  works  unreservedly  to  the  Holy  See,  he  had  no  hesi- 
tation in  speaking  of  them  as  divinely  revealed.  During  his  life- 
time he  enjoyed  the  reputation  of  a  prophet.  When  Kichard  of 
England  and  Philip  Augustus  were  at  Messina,  they  sent  for  him 
to  inquire  as  to  the  outcome  of  their  crusade,  and  he  is  said  to 
have  foretold  to  them  that  the  hour  had  not  yet  come  for  the  de- 
liverance of  Jerusalem.  Others  of  his  fulfilled  prophecies  are  also 
related,  and  the  mystical  character  of  the  apocalyptic  speculations 
which  he  left  behind  him  served  to  increase,  after  his  death,  his 
reputation  as  a  seer.  His  name  became  one  customarily  employed 
for  centuries  when  any  dreamer  or  sharper  desired  to  attract  at- 
tention, and  quite  a  literature  of  forgeries  grew  up  which  were 
ascribed  to  him.  Somewhat  more  than  a  century  after  his  death 
we  find  the  Dominican  Pipino  enumerating  a  long  catalogue  of 
his  works  with  the  utmost  respect  for  his  predictions.  In  1319 
Bernard  Delicieux  places  unlimited  confidence  in  a  prophetical 
book  of  Joachim's  in  which  there  were  representations  of  all  fut- 
ure popes  with  inscriptions  and  symbols  under  them.  Bernard 
points  out  the  different  pontiffs  of  his  own  period,  predicts  the 
fate  of  John  XXII.,  and  declares  that  for  two  hundred  years  there 
bad  been  no  mortal  to  whom  so  much  was  revealed  as  to  Joachim. 
Cola  di  Bienzo  found  in  the  pseudo-prophecies  of  Joachim  the  en- 
couragement that  inspired  his  second  attempt  to  govern  Borne. 
The  Franciscan  tract  De  ultima  ^Etate  Ecclesice,  written  in  1356, 
and  long  ascribed  to  "Wickliff,  expresses  the  utmost  reverence  for 
Joachim,  and  frequently  cites  his  prophecies.  The  Liber  Con- 
formitatum,  in  1385,  quotes  repeatedly  the  prediction  ascribed  to 
Joachim  as  to  the  foundation  of  the  two  Mendicant  Orders,  sym- 
bolized in  those  of  the  Dove  and  of  the  Crow,  and  the  tribulations 
to  which  the  former  was  to  be  exposed.  Not  long  afterwards  the 
hermit  Telesforo  da  Cosenza  drew  from  the  same  source  prophe- 
cies as  to  the  course  and  termination  of  the  Great  Schism,  and  the 
line  of  future  popes  until  the  coming  of  Antichrist — prophecies 
which  attracted  sufficient  attention  to  call  for  a  refutation  from 
Henry  of  Hesse,  one  of  the  leading  theologians  of  the  day.  Car- 
dinal Peter  d'Ailly  speaks  with  respect  of  Joachim's  prophecies 
concerning  Antichrist,  and  couples  him  with  the  prophetess  St. 
Hildegarda,  while  the  rationalistic  Cornelius  Agrippa  endeavors 


12  THE    SPIRITUAL   FRANCISCANS. 

to  explain  his  predictions  by  the  occult  powers  of  numbers.  Hu- 
man credulity  preserved  his  reputation  as  a  prophet  to  modern 
times,  and  until  at  least  as  late  as  the  seventeenth  century  prophe- 
cies under  his  name  were  published,  containing  series  of  popes 
with  symbolical  figures,  inscriptions,  and  explanations,  apparently 
similar  to  the  Vaticinia  Pontificum  which  so  completely  possessed 
the  confidence  of  Bernard  Delicieux.  Even  in  the  seventeenth 
century  the  Carmelites  printed  the  Oraculum  Angelicum  of  Cyril, 
with  its  pseudo-Joachitic  commentary,  as  a  proof  of  the  antiquity 
of  their  Order.* 

Joachim's  immense  and  durable  reputation  as  a  prophet  was 
due  not  so  much  to  his  genuine  works  as  to  the  spurious  ones  cir- 
culated under  his  name.  These  were  numerous — Prophecies  of 
Cyril,  and  of  the  Erythraean  Sybil,  Commentaries  on  Jeremiah,  the 
Vaticinia  Pontificum,  the  De  Oneribus  Ecclesice  and  De  Septem 
Temporibus  Ecclesioe.  In  some  of  these,  reference  to  Frederic  II. 
would  seem  to  indicate  a  period  of  composition  about  the  year 
1250,  when  the  strife  between  the  papacy  and  empire  was  at  the 
hottest,  and  the  current  prophecies  of  Merlin  were  freely  drawn 
upon  in  framing  their  exegesis.  There  can  be  little  doubt  that 
their  authors  were  Franciscans  of  the  Puritan  party,  and  their 
fearless  denunciations  of  existing  evils  show  how  impatient  had 
grown  the  spirit  of  dissatisfaction.     The  apocalyptic  prophecies 


*  Lib.  Concordiae  Proef.  (Venet.  1519). — Fr.  Francisci  Pipini  Chron.  (Muratori 
S.  R.  I.  IX.  498-500).— Rog.  Hovedens.  ann.  1190.— MSS.  Bib.  Nat,  fonds  latin,  No 
4270,  fol.  260-2.— Couiba,  La  Riforma  in  Italia,  I.  388.— Lech ler's  Wickliffe,  Lori- 
mer's  Translation,  II.  321.— Lib.  Conformitat.  Lib.  i.  Fruct.  i.  P.  2;  Fruct.  ix.  P.  2 
(fol.  12,  91). — Telesphori  de  magnis  Tribulationibus  Prceem. — Henric.  de  Hassia 
contra  Vaticin.  Telesphori  c.  xi.  (Pez  Thesaur.  I.  n.  521). — Franz  Ehrle  (Archiv 
fur  Lit.-  u.  Kirchengeschichte,  1886,  p.  331). — P.  d'Ailly  Concord.  Astron.Veritat. 
c.  lix.  (August.  Vindel.  1490). — H.  Cornel.  Agripp.  de  Occult.  Philosoph.  Lib.  n. 
c.  ii. 

The  Vaticinia  Pontificum  of  the  pseudo-Joachim  long  remained  a  popular 
oracle.  I  have  met  with  editions  of  Venice  issued  in  1589,  1600,  1605,  and  1646, 
of  Ferrara  in  1591,  of  Frankfort  in  1608,  of  Padua  in  1625,  and  of  Naples  in  1660, 
an  J  there  are  doubtless  numerous  others. 

Dante  represents  Bonaventura  as  pointing  out  the  saints — 

"  Raban  e  quivi,  e  lucemi  dallato 
II  Calavrese  abate  Giovacchino 
Di  spirito  profetico  dotato." — (Paradiso  xn.). 


THE  PSEUDO-JOACHIM.— HIS  GENUINE  WRITINGS.    13 

were  freely  interpreted  as  referring  to  the  carnal  worldliness  which 
pervaded  all  orders  in  the  Church ;  all  are  reprobate,  none  are 
elect ;  Rome  is  the  Whore  of  Babylon,  and  the  papal  curia  the 
most  venal  and  extortionate  of  all  courts ;  the  Roman  Church  is 
the  barren  fig-tree,  accursed  by  Christ,  which  shall  be  abandoned 
to  the  nations  to  be  stripped.  It  would  be  difficult  to  exaggerate 
the  bitterness  of  antagonism  displayed  in  these  writings,  even  to 
the  point  of  recognizing  the  empire  as  the  instrument  of  God 
which  is  to  overthrow  the  pride  of  the  Church.  These  outspoken 
utterances  of  rebellion  excited  no  little  interest,  especially  within 
the  Order  itself.  Adam  de  Marisco,  the  leading  Franciscan  of 
England,  sends  to  his  friend  Grosseteste,  Bishop  of  Lincoln,  some 
extracts  from  these  works  which  have  been  brought  to  him  from 
Italy.  He  speaks  of  Joachim  as  one  justly  credited  with  divine 
insight  into  prophetic  mysteries;  he  asks  to  have  the  fragments 
returned  to  him  after  copying,  and  meanwhile  commends  to  the 
bishop's  consideration  the  impending  judgments  of  Providence 
which  are  invited  by  the  abounding  wickedness  of  the  time.* 

Of  Joachim's  genuine  writings  the  one  which,  perhaps,  at- 
tracted the  most  attention  in  his  own  day  was  a  tract  on  the 
nature  of  the  Trinity,  attacking  the  definition  of  Peter  Lombard, 
and  asserting  that  it  attributed  a  Quaternity  to  God.  The  subtle- 
ties of  theology  were  dangerous,  and  in  place  of  proving  the  Mas- 
ter of  Sentences  a  heretic,  Joachim  himself  narrowly  escaped. 
Thirteen  years  after  his  death,  the  great  Council  of  Lateran,  in 
1215,  thought  his  speculation  sufficiently  important  to  condemn 
it  as  erroneous  in  an  elaborate  refutation,  which  was  carried  into 
the  canon  law,  and  Innocent  III.  preached  a  sermon  on  the  sub- 
ject to  the  assembled  fathers.  Fortunately  Joachim,  in  1200,  had 
expressly  submitted  all  his  writings  to  the  judgment  of  the  Holy 
See  and  had  declared  that  he  held  the  same  faith  as  that  of  Rome. 
The  council,  therefore,  refrained  from  condemning  him  personally 


*  Pseudo-Joachim  de  Oneribus  Ecclesiae  c.  iii.,  xv.,  xvi.,  xvii.,  xx.-,  xxi.,  xxii., 
xxiii.,  xxx. — Ejusd.  super  Hieremiam  c.  i.,  ii.,  iii.,  etc. — Saliuibene  p.  107. — Mon- 
umenta  Franciscana  p.  147  (M.  R.  Series). 

The  author  of  the  Commentary  on  Jeremiah  had  probably  been  disciplined 
for  freedom  of  speech  in  the  pulpit,  for  (cap.  i.)  he  denounces  as  bestial  a  license 
to  preach  which  restricts  the  liberty  of  the  spirit,  and  only  permits  the  preacher 
to  dispute  on  carnal  vices. 


1±  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

and  expressed  its  approbation  of  his  Order  of  Flora ;  but  notwith- 
standing this  the  monks  found  themselves  derided  and  insulted 
as  the  followers  of  a  heretic,  until,  in  1220,  they  procured  from 
Honorius  III.  a  bull  expressly  declaring  that  he  was  a  good  Cath- 
olic, and  forbidding  all  detraction  of  his  disciples.* 

His  most  important  writings,  however,  were  his  expositions  of 
Scripture  composed  at  the  request  of  Lucius  III.,  Urban  III.,  and 
Clement  III.  Of  these  there  were  three — the  Concordia,  the  De- 
cachordon,  or  Psalterium  decern  Cordarum,  and  the  Expositio  in 
ApocaJtjpsin.  In  these  his  system  of  exegesis  is  to  find  in  every 
incident  under  the  Old  Law  the  prefiguration  of  a  corresponding 
fact  in  chronological  order  under  the  ]Sew  Dispensation,  and  by 
an  arbitrary  parallelism  of  dates  to  reach  forward  and  ascertain 
what  is  yet  to  come.  He  thus  determines  that  mankind  is  des- 
tined to  live  through  three  states — the  first  under  the  rule  of  the 
Father,  which  ended  at  the  birth  of  Christ,  the  second  under  that 
of  the  Son,  and  the  third  under  the  Holy  Ghost.  The  reign  of 
the  Son,  or  of  the  Xew  Testament,  he  ascertains  by  varied  apoca- 
lyptic speculations  is  to  last  through  forty-two  generations,  or  1260 
years — for  instance,  Judith  remained  in  widowhood  three  years 
and  a  half,  or  forty-two  months,  which  is  1260  days,  the  great 
number  representing  the  years  through  which  the  Xew  Testament 
is  to  endure,  so  that  in  the  year  1260  the  domination  of  the  Holy 
Ghost  is  to  replace  it.  In  the  forty-second  generation  there  will 
be  a  purgation  which  will  separate  the  wheat  from  the  chaff — such 
tribulations  as  man  has  never  yet  endured :  fortunately  they  will 
be  short,  or  all  flesh  would  perish  utterly.  After  this,  religion 
will  be  renewed ;  man  will  live  in  peace  and  justice  and  joy,  as  in 
the  Sabbath  which  closed  the  labors  of  creation ;  all  shall  know 
God,  from  sea  to  sea,  to  the  utmost  confines  of  the  earth,  and  the 
glory  of  the  Holy  Ghost  shall  be  perfect.  In  that  final  abundance 
of  spiritual  grace  the  observances  of  religion  will  be  no  longer 


*  Concil.  Lateran.  IV.  c.  2.— Theiner  Monument  Slavor.  Meridional.  I.  63  — 
Lib.  i.  Sexto,  1,  2  (Cap.  Damnamus).  —  Wadding,  ann.  1256,  No.  8,  9.  — Salim- 
bene  Chron.  p.  103. 

Nearly  half  a  century  later  Thomas  Aquinas  still  considered  Joachim's  specu- 
lations on  the  Trinity  worthy  of  elaborate  refutation,  and  near  the  close  of  the 
fourteenth  century  Eymerich  reproduces  the  whole  controversy. — Direct.  Inqui- 
sit.  pp.  4-6,  15-17. 


JOACHIM'S    THIRD    ERA.  15 

requisite.  As  the  paschal  lamb  was  superseded  by  the  Eucharist, 
so  the  sacrifice  of  the  altar  will  become  superfluous.  A  new  mo- 
nastic Order  is  to  arise  which  will  convert  the  world ;  contempla- 
tive monachism  is  the  highest  development  of  humanity,  and  the 
world  will  become,  as  it  were,  one  vast  monastery.* 

In  this  scheme  of  the  future  elevation  of  man,  Joachim  recog- 
nized fully  the  evils  of  his  time.  The  Church  he  describes  as 
thoroughly  given  over  to  avarice  and  greed ;  wholly  abandoned 
to  the  lusts  of  the  flesh,  it  neglects  its  children,  who  are  carried 
off  by  zealous  heretics.  The  Church  of  the  second  state,  he  says, 
is  Hagar,  but  that  of  the  third  state  will  be  Sarah.  With  endless 
amplitude  he  illustrates  the  progressive  character  of  the  relations 
between  God  and  man  in  the  successive  eras.  The  first  state, 
under  God,  was  of  the  circumcision ;  the  second,  under  Christ,  is 
of  the  crucifixion ;  the  third,  under  the  Holy  Ghost,  will  be  of 
quietude  and  peace.  Under  the  first  was  the  order  of  the  married ; 
under  the  second,  that  of  the  priesthood ;  under  the  third  will  be 
that  of  monachism,  which  has  already  had  its  precursor  in  St.  Ben- 
edict. The  first  was  the  reign  of  Saul,  the  second  that  of  David, 
the  third  will  be  that  of  Solomon  enjoying  the  plenitude  of  peace. 
In  the  first,  man  was  under  the  law,  in  the  second  under  grace,  in 
the  third  he  will  be  under  ampler  grace.  The  people  of  the  first 
state  are  symbolized  by  Zachariah  the  priest,  those  of  the  second 
by  John  the  Baptist,  those  of  the  third  by  Christ  himself.  In  the 
first  state  there  was  knowledge,  in  the  second  piety,  in  the  third 
will  be  plenitude  of  knowledge ;  the  first  state  was  servitude,  the 
second  was  filial  obedience,  the  third  will  be  liberty ;  the  first  state 
was  passed  in  scourging,  the  second  in  action,  the  third  will  be  in 
contemplation ;  the  first  was  in  fear,  the  second  in  faith,  the  third 
will  be  in  love ;  the  first  was  of  slaves,  the  second  of  freemen,  the 
third  will  be  of  friends ;  the  first  was  of  old  men,  the  second  of 
youths,  the  third  will  be  of  children ;  the  first  was  starlight,  the 
second  dawn,  the  third  will  be  perfect  day ;  the  first  was  winter, 
the  second  opening  spring,  the  third  will  be  summer;  the  first 
brought  forth  nettles,  the  second  roses,  the  third  will  bear  lilies ; 

*  Joachiini  Concordiae  Lib.  iv.  c.  31,  34,  38;  Lib.  v.  c.  58,  63,  65,  67,  68,  74, 
78,  89,  118. 

Joachim  was  held  to  have  predicted  the  rise  of  the  Mendicants  (y.  43),  but 
his  anticipations  looked  wholly  to  contemplative  monachism. 


IQ  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

the  first  was  grass,  the  second  grain  in  the  ear,  the  third  will  be 
the  ripened  wheat ;  the  first  was  water,  the  second  wine,  the  third 
will  be  oil.  Finally,  the  first  belongs  to  the  Father,  creator  of  all 
things,  the  second  to  the  Son,  who  assumed  our  mortal  clay,  the 
third  will  belong  to  the  pure  Holy  Spirit.* 

It  is  a  very  curious  fact  that  while  Joachim's  metaphysical 
subtleties  respecting  the  Trinity  were  ostentatiously  condemned 
as  a  dangerous  heresy,  no  one  seems  at  the  time  to  have  recognized 
the  far  more  perilous  conclusions  to  be  drawn  from  these  apoca- 
lyptic reveries.  So  far  from  being  burned  as  heretical,  they  were 
prized  by  popes,  and  Joachim  was  honored  as  a  prophet  until  his 
audacious  imitators  and  followers  developed  the  revolutionary  doc- 
trines to  which  they  necessarily  led.  To  us,  for  the  moment,  their 
chief  significance  lies  in  the  proof  which  they  afford  that  the  most 
pious  minds  confessed  that  Christianity  was  practically  a  failure. 
Mankind  had  scarce  grown  better  under  the  Xew  Law.  Vices 
and  passions  were  as  unchecked  as  they  had  been  before  the  com- 
ing of  the  Redeemer.  The  Church  itself  was  worldly  and  carnal ; 
in  place  of  elevating  man  it  had  been  dragged  down  to  his  level ; 
it  had  proved  false  to  its  trust  and  was  the  exemplar  of  evil  rather 
than  the  pattern  of  good.  To  such  men  as  Joachim  it  was  impos- 
sible that  crime  and  misery  should  be  the  ultimate  and  irremedi- 
able condition  of  human  life,  and  yet  the  Atonement  had  thus  far 
done  little  to  bring  it  nearer  to  the  ideal.  Christianity,  therefore, 
could  not  be  a  finality  in  man's  existence  upon  earth;  it  was 
merely  an  intermediate  condition,  to  be  followed  by  a  further  de- 
velopment, in  which,  under  the  rule  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  the  law 
of  love,  fruitlessly  inculcated  by  the  gospel,  should  at  last  become 
the  dominant  principle,  and  men,  released  from  carnal  passions, 


*  Joachimi  Concordiae  Lib.  i.  Tract,  ii.  c.  6 ;  it.  25,  26,  33;  v.  2  21   60  65 
66,  84. 

The  Commission  of  Anagni  in  1255  by  a  strained  interpretation  of  a  passage 
in  the  Concordia  (n.  i.  7)  accused  Joachim  of  having  justified  the  schism  of  the 
Greeks  (Denifle,  Archiv  f.  Litt.-  u.  K.  1885,  p.  120).  So  far  was  he  from  this 
that  he  never  loses  an  occasion  of  decrying  the  Oriental  Church,  especiallv  for 
the  marriage  of  its  priests  (e.  g.,  v.  70,  72).  Yet  when  he  asserted  that  Antichrist 
was  already  born  in  Rome,  and  it  was  objected  to  him  that  Babylon  was  assigned 
as  the  birthplace,  he  had  no  hesitation  in  saying  that  Rome  was  the  mystical 
Babylon.— Rad.  de  Coggeshall  Chron.  (Bouquet,  XVIII.  76). 


SPREAD    OF    JOACHITIC    IDEAS.  17 

.  should  realize  the  glad  promises  so  constantly  held  out  before  them 
and  so  miserably  withheld  in  the  performance.  Joachim  himself 
might  seek  to  evade  these  deductions  from  his  premises,  yet  others 
could  not  fail  to  make  them,  and  nothing  could  be  more  auda- 
ciously subversive  of  the  established  spiritual  and  temporal  order 
of  the  Church. 

Yet  for  a  time  his  speculations  attracted  little  attention  and 
no  animadversion.  It  is  possible  that  the  condemnation  of  his 
theory  of  the  Trinity  may  have  cast  a  shadow  over  his  exegetical 
works  and  prevented  their  general  dissemination,  but  they  were 
treasured  by  kindred  spirits,  and  copies  of  them  were  carried  into 
various  lands  and  carefully  preserved.  Curiously  enough,  the  first 
response  which  they  elicited  was  from  the  bold  heretics  known 
as  the  Amaurians,  whose  ruthless  suppression  in  Paris,  about  the 
year  1210,  we  have  already  considered.  Among  their  errors  was 
enumerated  that  of  the  three  Eras,  which  was  evidently  derived 
from  Joachim,  with  the  difference  that  the  third  Era  had  already 
commenced.  The  power  of  the  Father  only  lasted  under  the  Mo- 
saic Law ;  with  the  advent  of  Christ  all  the  sacraments  of  the  Old 
Testament  were  superseded.  The  reign  of  Christ  has  lasted  till 
the  present  time,  but  now  commences  the  sovereignty  of  the  Holy 
Ghost ;  the  sacraments  of  the  New  Testament — baptism,  the  Eu- 
charist, penitence,  and  the  rest — are  obsolete  and  to  be  discarded, 
and  the  power  of  the  Holy  Ghost  will  operate  through  the  per- 
sons in  whom  it  is  incarnated.  The  Amaurians,  as  we  have  seen, 
promptly  disappeared,  and  the  derivative  sects — the  Ortlibenses, 
and  the  Brethren  of  the  Free  Spirit — seem  to  have  omitted  this 
feature  of  the  heresy.  At  all  events,  we  hear  nothing  more  of  it 
in  that  quarter.* 

Gradually,  however,  the  writings  of  Joachim  obtained  currency, 
and  with  the  ascription  to  him  of  the  false  prophecies  which  ap- 
peared towards  the  middle  of  the  century  his  name  became  more 
widely  known  and  of  greater  authority.  In  Provence  and  Lan- 
guedoc,  especially,  his  teachings  found  eager  reception.  Harried 
successively  by  the  crusades  and  the  Inquisition,  and  scarce  as 
yet  fairly  reunited  with  the  Church,  those  regions  furnished  an 


*  Rigord.  de  Gest.  Phil.  Aug.  arm.  1210. — Guillel.  Nangiac.  arm.  1210. — Caesar. 
Hcisterb.  dist.  v.  c.  xxii. 
III.— 2 


lg  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

ample  harvest  of  earnest  minds  which  might  well  seek  in  the 
hoped-for  speedy  realization  of  Joachim's  dreams  compensation  for 
the  miseries  of  the  present.  Kor  did  those  dreams  lack  an  apostle 
of  unquestionable  orthodoxy.  Hugues  de  Digne,  a  hermit  of 
Hyeres,  had  a  wide  reputation  for  learning,  eloquence,  and  sanctity. 
He  had  been  Franciscan  Provincial  of  Provence,  but  had  laid  down 
that  dignity  to  gratify  his  passion  for  austerity,  and  his  sister, 
St.  Douceline,  lived  in  a  succession  of  ecstasies  in  which  she  was 
lifted  from  the  ground.  Hugues  was  intimate  with  the  leading 
men  of  the  Order ;  Alexander  Hales,  Adam  de  Marisco,  and  the 
general,  John  of  Parma,  are  named  as  among  his  close  friends. 
With  the  latter,  especially,  he  had  the  common  bond  that  both 
were  earnest  Joachites.  He  possessed  all  the  works  of  Joachim, 
genuine  and  spurious,  he  had  the  utmost  confidence  in  their  proph- 
ecies, which  he  regarded  as  divine  inspiration,  and  he  did  much 
to  extend  the  knowledge  of  them,  which  was  not  difficult,  as  he 
himself  had  the  reputation  of  a  prophet.* 

The  Spiritual  section  of  the  Franciscans  was  rapidly  becoming 
leavened  with  these  ideas.  To  minds  inclined  to  mysticism,  filled 
with  unrest,  dissatisfied  with  the  existing  unfulfilment  of  their 
ideal,  and  longing  earnestly  for  its  realization,  there  might  well 
be  an  irresistible  fascination  in  the  promises  of  the  Calabrian  ab- 
bot, of  which  the  term  was  now  so  rapidly  approaching.  If  these 
Joachitic  Franciscans  developed  the  ideas  of  their  teacher  with 
greater  boldness  and  definiteness,  their  ardor  had  ample  excuse. 
They  were  living  witnesses  of  the  moral  failure  of  an  effort  from 
which  everything  had  been  expected  for  the  regeneration  of  hu- 
manity. They  had  seen  how  the  saintly  teachings  of  Francis 
and  the  new  revelation  of  which  he  had  been  the  medium  were 
perverted  by  worldly  men  to  purposes  of  ambition  and  greed ; 
how  the  Order,  which  should  have  been  the  germ  of  human  re- 
demption, was  growing  more  and  more  carnal,  and  how  its  saints 
were  martyred  by  their  fellows.  Unless  the  universe  were  a  fail- 
ure, and  the  promises  of  God  were  lies,  there  must  be  a  term  to 


*  Salimbene  Chron.  pp.  97-109,  124,  318-20.— Chron.  Glassberger  ann.  1286. 
— Vie  de  Douceline  (Meyer,  Recueil  cTanciens  Textes,  pp.  142-46). 

Salimbene,  in  enumerating  the  special  intimates  of  John  of  Parma,  character- 
izes several  of  them  as  "great  Joachites." 


THE    JOACHITES.  19 

human  wickedness ;  and  as  the  Gospel  of  Christ  and  the  Rule  of 
Francis  had  not  accomplished  the  salvation  of  mankind,  a  new 
gospel  was  indispensable.  Besides,  Joachim  had  predicted  that 
there  would  arise  a  new  religious  Order  which  would  rule  the 
world  and  the  Church  in  the  halcyon  age  of  the  Holy  Ghost. 
They  could  not  doubt  that  this  referred  to  the  Franciscans  as  rep- 
resented by  the  Spiritual  group,  which  was  striving  to  uphold  in 
all  its  strictness  the  Rule  of  the  venerated  founder.* 

Such,  we  may  presume,  were  the  ideas  which  were  troubling 
the  hearts  of  the  earnest  Spirituals  as  they  pondered  over  the 
prophecies  of  Joachim.  In  their  exaltation  many  of  them  were 
themselves  given  to  ecstasies  and  visions  full  of  prophetic  insight. 
Prominent  members  of  the  Order  had  openly  embraced  the  Joa- 
chitic  doctrines,  and  his  prophecies,  genuine  and  spurious,  were 
applied  to  all  events  as  they  occurred.  In  1248  Salimbene,  the 
chronicler,  who  was  already  a  warm  believer,  met  at  the  Francis- 
can convent  of  Provins  (Champagne)  two  ardent  condisciples, 
Gherardo  da  Borgo  San  Donnino  and  Bartolommeo  Ghiscolo  of 
Parma.  St.  Louis  was  just  setting  forth  on  his  ill-starred  Egyp- 
tian crusade.  The  Joachites  had  recourse  to  the  pseudo-Joachim 
on  Jeremiah,  and  foretold  that  the  expedition  would  be  a  failure, 
that  the  king  would  be  taken  prisoner,  and  that  pestilence  would 
decimate  the  host.  This  was  not  calculated  to  render  them  popu- 
lar ;  the  peace  of  the  good  brethren  was  sadly  broken  by  quarrels, 
and  the  Joachites  found  it  advisable  to  depart.  Salimbene  went 
to  Auxerre,  Ghiscolo  to  Sens,  and  Gherardo  to  Paris,  where  his 
learning  secured  for  him  admission  to  the  university  as  the  repre- 
sentative of  Sicily,  and  he  obtained  a  chair  in  theology.  Here  for 
four  years  he  pursued  his  apocalyptic  studies. f 


*  Protocoll.  Commiss.  Anagniae  (Denifle,  Archiv  far  Litteratur-  und  Kirchen- 
geschichte,  1885,  pp.  111-12). 

t  Hist.  Tribulat.  (ubi  sup.  pp.  178-9).— Salimbene,  pp.  102,  233. 

According  to  the  exegesis  of  the  Joachites,  Frederic  II.  was  to  attain  the  age 
of  seventy.  When  he  died,  in  1250,  Salimbene  refused  to  believe  it,  and  remained 
incredulous  until  Innocent  IV.,  in  his  triumphal  progress  from  Lyons,  came  to 
Ferrara,  nearly  ten  months  afterwards,  and  exchanged  congratulations  upon  it. 
Salimbene  was  present,  and  Fra  Gherardino  of  Parma  turned  to  him  and  said, 
"You  know  it  now ;  leave  your  Joachim  and  apply  yourself  to  wisdom  "  (lb.  pp. 
107,  227). 


20  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

Suddenly,  in  1254,  Paris  was  startled  with  the  appearance  of  a 
book  under  the  title  of  "  The  Everlasting  Gospel  "—a  name  derived 
from  the  Apocalypse—"  And  I  saw  another  angel  fly  in  the  midst 
of  heaven,  having  the  everlasting  gospel  to  preach  unto  them  that 
dwell  on  the  earth,  and  to  every  nation,  and  kindred,  and  tongue, 
and  people"  (Rev.  xiv.  6).  It  consisted  of  Joachim's  three  un- 
doubted works,  with  explanatory  glosses,  preceded  by  a  long  In- 
troduction, in  which  the  hardy  author  developed  the  ideas  of  the 
prophet  audaciously  and  uncompromisingly.  The  daring  vent- 
ure had  an  immediate  and  immense  popular  success,  which  shows 
how  profoundly  the  conviction  which  prompted  it  was  shared 
among-  all  classes.  The  rhvmes  of  Jean  de  Meung  indicate  that 
the  demand  for  it  came  from  the  laity  rather  than  the  clergy,  and 
that  it  was  sought  bv  women  as  well  as  bv  men — 

"  Ung  livre  de  par  le  grant  diable 
Dit  l'Evangile  pardurable  .  .  . 
A  Paris  n'eust  home  ne  feme 
Au  parvis  devant  Xostre-Dame 
Qui  lors  avoir  ne  le  p£ust 
A  transcrire,  s'il  li  pleust."  * 

Nothing  more  revolutionary  in  spirit,  more  subversive  of  the 
established  order  of  the  Church,  can  be  conceived  than  the  asser- 
tions which  thus  aroused  popular  sympathy  and  applause.  Joa- 
chim's computations  were  accepted,  and  it  was  assumed  absolute- 
ly that  in  six  years,  in  1260,  the  reign  of  Christ  would  end  and 
the  reign  of  the  Holy  Ghost  begin.  Already,  in  1200,  the  spirit 
of  life  had  abandoned  the  Old  and  Xew  Testaments  in  order  to 
give  place  to  the  Everlasting  Gospel,  consisting  of  the  Concordia, 


*  Renan,  Xouvelles  Etudes,  p.  296. 

Joachim  had  already  used  the  term  Everlasting  Gospel  to  designate  the 
spiritual  interpretation  of  the  Evangelists,  which  was  henceforth  to  rule  the 
world.  His  disciple  naturally  considered  Joachim's  commentaries  to  be  this 
spiritual  interpretation,  and  that  they  constituted  the  Everlasting  Gospel  to 
which  he  furnished  a  Gloss  and  Introduction.  The  Franciscans  were  necessarily 
the  contemplative  Order  intrusted  with  its  dissemination.  (See  Denifle,  Archiv 
fur  Littcratur-  etc.,  1885,  pp.  54-59,  61.)  According  to  Denifle  (pp.  67-70)  the 
publication  of  Gherardo  consisted  only  of  the  Introduction  and  the  Concordia. 
The  xVpocalypse  and  the  Decachordon  were  to  follow,  but  the  venturesome  en- 
terprise was  cut  short. 


THE    EVERLASTING    GOSPEL.  21 

the  Expositio,  and  the  Decachordon — the  development  and  spir- 
itualization  of  all  that  had  preceded  it.  Even  as  Joachim  had 
dwelt  on  the  ascending  scale  of  the  three  Eras,  so  the  author 
of  the  Introduction  characterized  the  progressive  methods  of  the 
three  Scriptures.  The  Old  Testament  is  the  first  heaven,  the 
New  Testament  the  second  heaven,  the  Everlasting  Gospel  the 
third  heaven.  The  first  is  like  the  light  of  the  stars,  the  second 
like  that  of  the  moon,  and  the  third  like  that  of  the  sun ;  the  first 
is  the  porch,  the  second  the  holy  place,  and  the  third  the  Holy  of 
Holies ;  the  first  is  the  rind,  the  second  the  nut,  the  third  the  ker- 
nel ;  the  first  is  earth,  the  second  water,  the  third  fire ;  the  first 
is  literal,  the  second  spiritual,  and  the  third  is  the  law  promised  in 
Jeremiah  xxxi.  The  preaching  and  dissemination  of  this  supreme 
and  eternal  law  of  God  is  committed  to  the  barefooted  Order  (the 
Franciscans).  At  the  threshold  of  the  Old  Law  were  three  men, 
Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob :  at  that  of  the  New  Law  were  three 
others,  Zachariah,  John  the  Baptist,  and  Christ :  and  at  that  of 
the  coming  age  are  three,  the  man  in  linen  (Joachim),  the  Angel 
with  the  sharp  sickle,  and  the  Angel  with  the  sign  of  the  living  God 
(Francis).  In  the  blessed  coming  reign  of  the  Holy  Ghost  men 
will  live  under  the  law"  of  love,  as  in  the  first  Era  they  lived  in  fear, 
and  in  the  second  in  grace.  Joachim  had  argued  against  the  con- 
tinuance of  the  sacraments ;  Gherardo  regarded  them  as  symbols 
and  enigmas,  from  which  man  would  be  liberated  in  the  time  to 
come,  for  love  would  replace  all  the  observances  founded  upon  the 
second  Dispensation.  This  was  destructive  of  the  whole  sacerdo- 
tal system,  which  was  to  be  swept  away  and  relegated  to  the  limbo 
of  the  forgotten  past ;  and  scarce  less  revolutionary  was  his  bold 
declaration  that  the  Abomination  of  Desolation  would  be  a  pope 
tainted  with  simony,  wrho,  towards  the  end  of  the  sixth  age,  now 
at  hand,  would  obtain  the  papacy.* 


*  Protocol.  Cornmiss.  Anagniae  (H.  Denifle  Archiv  fur  Litt.-  etc.,  1885,  pp. 
99-102,  109,  126,  135-6). 

It  appears  to  me  that  Father  DenifiVs  laborious  research  has  sufficiently 
proved  that  the  errors  commonly  ascribed  to  the  Everlasting  Gospel  (D'Argentre 
I.  i.  162-5 ;  Eymeric.  Direct.  Inq.  P.  n.  Q.  9 ;  Hermann.  Korneri  Chron.  ap. 
Eccard.  Corp.  Hist.  Med.  iEvi.  II.  849-51)  are  the  strongly  partisan  accusations 
sent  to  Rome  by  William  of  St.  Amour  (ubi  sup.  pp.  76-86)  which  have  led  to 


22  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

The  authorship  of  this  bold  challenge  to  an  infallible  Church 
was  long  attributed  to  John  of  Parma  himself,  but  there  would 
seem  little  doubt  that  it  was  the  work  of  Gherardo— the  outcome 
of  his  studies  and  reveries  during  the  four  years  spent  in  the  Uni- 
versity of  Paris,  although  John  of  Parma  possibly  had  a  hand  in 
it.  Certainly,  as  Tocco  well  points  out,  he  at  least  sympathized 
with  it,  for  he  never  punished  the  author,  in  spite  of  the  scandal 
which  it  brought  upon  the  Order,  and  Bernard  Gui  tells  us  that  at 
the  time  it  was  commonly  ascribed  to  him.  I  have  already  re- 
lated with  what  joy  William  of  Saint  Amour  seized  upon  it  in  the 
quarrel  between  the  University  and  the  Mendicants,  and  the  ad- 
vantage it  momentarily  gave  the  former.  Under  existing  circum- 
stances it  could  have  no  friends  or  defenders.  It  was  too  reckless 
an  onslaught  on  all  existing  institutions,  temporal  and  spiritual. 
The  only  thing  to  be  done  with  it  was  to  suppress  it  as  quietly  as 
possible.  Consideration  for  the  Franciscan  Order  demanded  this, 
as  well  as  the  prudence  which  counselled  that  attention  should 
not  be  unduly  called  to  it,  although  hundreds  of  victims  had  been 
burned  for  heresies  far  less  dangerous.  The  commission  which  sat 
at  Anagni  in  July,  1255,  for  its  condemnation  had  a  task  over 
which  there  could  be  no  debate,  but  I  have  already  pointed  out 
the  contrast  between  the  reserve  with  which  it  was  suppressed  and 
the  vindictive  clamor  with  which  Saint  Amour's  book  against 
the  Mendicants  was  ordered  to  be  burned.- 


exaggerated  misconceptions  of  its  rebellious  tendencies.  Father  Denifle,  how- 
ever, proceeds  to  state  that  the  result  of  the  commission  of  Anagni  (Julv,  1255) 
was  merely  the  condemnation  of  the  views  of  Gherardo,  and  that  the  works  of 
Joachim  (except  his  tract  against  Peter  Lombard)  have  never  been  condemned 
by  the  Church.  Yet  when  the  exaggerations  of  William  of  St.  Amour  are 
thrown  aside,  there  is  in  reality  little  in  principle  to  distinguish  Joachim  from 
Gherardo ;  and  if  the  former  was  not  condemned  it  was  not  the  fault  of  the  Com- 
mission of  Anagni,  which  classed  both  together  and  energetically  endeavored  to 
prove  Joachim  a  heretic,  even  to  showing  that  he  never  abandoned  his  heresy  on 
the  Trinity  (ubi  sup.  pp.  137-41). 

Yet  if  there  was  little  difference  in  the  letter,  there  was  a  marked  divergence 
in  spirit  between  Joachim  and  his  commentator— the  former  being  constructive 
and  the  latter  destructive  as  regards  the  existing  Church.  See  Tocco,  Archivio 
Storico  Italiano,  1886. 

*  Matt.  Paris  ann.  1256  (Ed.  1644,  p.  032).— Salimbene,  p.  102.— Bern.  Guidon. 


RESIGNATION    OF    JOHN    OF   PARMA.  23 

The  Spiritual  section  of  the  Franciscans  was  fatally  compro- 
mised, and  the  worldly  party,  which  had  impatiently  borne  the 
strict  rule  of  John  of  Parma,  saw  its  opportunity  of  gaining  the 
ascendency.  Led  by  Bernardo  da  Bessa,  the  companion  of  Bona- 
ventura,  formal  articles  of  accusation  were  presented  to  Alexander 
IV.  against  the  general.  He  was  accused  of  listening  to  no  ex- 
planations of  the  Rule  and  Testament,  holding  that  the  privileges 
and  declarations  of  the  popes  were  of  no  moment  in  comparison. 
It  was  not  hinted  that  he  was  implicated  in  the  Everlasting  Gos- 
pel, but  it  was  alleged  that  he  pretended  to  enjoy  the  spirit  of 
prophecy  and  that  he  predicted  a  division  of  the  Order  between 
those  who  procured  papal  relaxations  and  those  who  adhered  to 
the  Rule,  the  latter  of  whom  would  flourish  under  the  dew  of 
heaven  and  the  benediction  of  God.  Moreover,  he  was  not  ortho- 
dox, but  defended  the  errors  of  Joachim  concerning  the  Trinity, 
and  his  immediate  comrades  had  not  hesitated,  in  sermons  and 
tracts,  to  praise  Joachim  immoderately  and  to  assail  the  leading 
men  of  the  Order.  In  this,  as  in  the  rest  of  the  proceedings,  the 
studied  silence  preserved  as  to  the  Everlasting  Gospel  shows  how 
dangerous  was  the  subject,  and  how  even  the  fierce  passions  of  the 
strife  shrank  from  compromising  the  Order  by  admitting  that  any 
of  its  members  Avere  responsible  for  that  incendiary  production.* 

Vit.  Alex.  PP.  IV.  (Muratori  S.  R.  I.  III.  i.  593).  Cf.  Amalr.  Auger.  Vit.  Alex.  PP. 
IV.  (lb.  III.  ii.  404). 

For  the  authorship  of  the  Everlasting  Gospel,  see  Tocco,  LTHeresia  nel  Medio 
Evo,  pp.  473-4,  and  his  review  of  Denifle  and  Haupt,  Archivio  Storico  Italiano, 
1886;  Renan,pp.  248,  277;  and  Denifle,  ubi  sup.  pp.  57-8. 

One  of  the  accusations  brought  against  William  of  Saint  Amour  was  that  he 
complained  of  the  delay  in  condemning  the  Everlasting  Gospel,  to  which  he  re- 
plied with  an  allusion  to  the  influence  of  those  who  defended  the  errors  of 
Joachim. — Dupin,  Bib.  des  Autenrs  fCccles.  T.  X.  ch.  vii. 

Thomas  of  Cantimpre"  assures  us  that  Saint  Amour  would  have  won  the  day 
against  the  Mendicant  Orders  but  for  the  learning  and  eloquence  of  Albertus 
Magnus. — Bonum  Universale,  Lib.  n.  c.  ix. 

*  Wadding,  ann.  1256,  No.  2. — Affo  (Lib.  n.  c.  iv.)  argues  that  John  of  Parma's 
resignation  was  wholly  spontaneous,  that  there  were  no  accusations  against  him, 
and  that  both  the  pope  and  the  Franciscans  were  with  difficulty  persuaded  to  let 
him  retire.  He  quotes  Salimbene  (Chronica  p.  137)  as  to  the  reluctance  of  the 
chapter  to  accept  his  resignation,  but  does  not  allude  to  the  assertion  of  the  same 
authority  that  John  was  obnoxious  to  Alexander  and  to  many  of  the  ministers 
of  the  Order  by  reason  of  his  too  zealous  belief  in  Joachim  (lb.  p.  131). 


24  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

Alexander  was  easily  persuaded,  and  a  general  chapter  was 
held  in  the  Aracceli,  February  2, 1257,  over  which  he  personally 
presided.     John   of  Parma   was  warned  to  resign,  and  did   so, 
pleading  age,  weariness,  and  disability.     After  a  decent  show  of 
resistance  his  resignation  was  accepted  and  he  was  asked  to  nom- 
inate a  successor.     His  choice  fell  upon  Bonaventura,  then  only 
thirty -four  years  of  age,  whose  participation  in  the  struggle  with 
the  University  of  Paris  had  marked  him  as  the  most  promising 
man  in  the  Order,  while  he  was  not  identified  with  either  faction. 
He  was  duly  elected,  and  the  leaders  of  the  movement  required 
him  to  proceed  against  John  and  his  adherents.     Bonaventura  for 
a  while  hesitated,  but  at  length  consented.     Gherardo  refused  to 
recant,  and  Bonaventura  sent  for  him  to  come  to  Paris.     In  pass- 
ing through  Modena  he  met  Salimbene,  who  had  cowered  before 
the  storm  and  had  renounced  Joachitism  as  a  folly.     The  two 
friends  had  a  long  colloquy,  in  which  Gherardo  offered  to  prove 
that  Antichrist  was  already  at  hand  in  the  person  of  Alonso  the 
Wise  of  Castile.    He  was  learned,  pure-minded,  temperate,  modest, 
amiable — in  a  word,  a  most  admirable  and  lovable  character ;  but 
nothing  could  wean  him  from  his  Joachitic  convictions,  though  in 
his  trial  discreet  silence,  as  usual,  was  observed  about  the  Everlast- 
ing Gospel,  and  he  was  condemned  as  an  upholder  of  Joachim's 
Trinitarian  speculations.    Had  he  not  been  a  Franciscan  he  would 
have  been  burned.    It  was  a  doubtful  mercv  which  consigned  him 
to  a  dungeon  in  chains  and  fed  him  on  bread  and  water  for  eigh- 
teen years,  until  his  weary  life  came  to  an  end.    He  never  wavered 
to  the  last,  and  his  remains  were  thrust  into  a  corner  of  the  gar- 
den of  the  convent  where  he  died.    The  same  fate  awaited  his 
comrade  Leonardo,  and  also  another  friar  named  Piero  de'  Nubili, 
who  refused  to  surrender  a  tract  of  John  of  Parma's.* 


*  Wadding,  ann.  1256,  No.  3-5.— Salimbene,  pp.  102,  233-6.— Hist.  Tribulat. 
(Archiv  fur  L.  u.  K.  1886,  p.  285).— Although  Salimbene  prudently  abandoned 
Joachitism,  he  never  outgrew  his  belief  in  Joachim's  prophetic  powers.  Many 
years  later  he  gives  as  a  reason  for  suspecting  the  Segarellists,  that  if  they  were 
of  God,  Joachim  would  have  predicted  them  as  he  did  the  Mendicants  (lb. 
123-4). 

The  silence  of  the  Historia  Tribulationum  with  respect  to  the  Everlasting 
Gospel  is  noteworthy.  By  common  consent  that  dangerous  work  seems  to  be 
ignored  by  all  parties. 


PERSISTENCE    OF    THE    JOACHITES.  25 

Then  John  himself  was  tried  by  a  special  court,  to  preside  over 
which  Alexander  appointed  Cardinal  Caietano,  afterwards  Nicho- 
las III.  The  accused  readily  retracted  his  advocacy  of  Joachim, 
but  his  bearing  irritated  the  judges,  and,  with  Bonaventura's  con- 
sent, he  would  have  shared  the  fate  of  his  associates  but  for  the 
strenuous  intercession  of  Ottoboni,  Cardinal  of  S.  Adrian,  after- 
wards Adrian  V.  Bonaventura  gave  him  the  option  of  selecting  a 
place  of  retreat,  and  he  chose  a  little  convent  near  Rieti.  There 
he  is  said  to  have  lived  for  thirty-two  years  the  life  of  an  angel, 
without  abandoning  his  Joachitic  beliefs.  John  XXI.,  who  greatly 
loved  him,  thought  of  making  him  a  cardinal  in  1277,  but  was 
prevented  by  death.  Nicholas  III.,  who  had  presided  at  his  trial, 
a  few  years  later  offered  him  the  cardinalate,  so  as  to  be  able  to 
enjoy  his  advice,  but  he  quietly  answered,  "  I  could  give  whole- 
some counsel  if  there  were  any  one  to  listen  to  me,  but  in  the 
Roman  court  there  is  little  discussed  but  wars  and  triumphs,  and 
not  the  salvation  of  souls."  In  1289,  however,  notwithstanding 
his  extreme  age,  he  accepted  from  Nicholas  IV.  a  mission  to  the 
Greek  Church,  but  he  died  at  Camerino  soon  after  setting  out. 
Buried  there,  he  speedily  shone  in  miracles ;  he  became  the  object 
of  a  lasting  cult,  and  in  1777  he  was  formally  beatified,  in  spite 
of  the  opposition  arising  from  his  alleged  authorship  of  the  Intro- 
duction to  the  Everlasting  Gospel.* 

The  faith  of  the  Joachites  was  by  no  means  broken  by  these 
reverses.  William  of  Saint  Amour  thought  it  necessary  to  return 
to  the  charge  with  another  bitter  tract  directed  against  them.  He 
shares  their  belief  in  the  impending  change,  but  declares  that  in 
place  of  being  the  reign  of  love  under  the  Holy  Ghost,  it  will  be 
the  reign  of  Antichrist,  whom  he  identifies  with  the  Friars.  Per- 
secution, he  says,  had  put  an  end  to  the  open  defence  of  the  pes- 
tiferous doctrine  of  the  Everlasting  Gospel,  but  it  still  had  many 
believers  in  secret.  The  south  of  France  was  the  headquarters  of 
the  sect.  Florent,  Bishop  of  Acre,  had  been  the  official  prosecutor 
before  the  Commission  of  Anagni  in  1255.  He  was  rewarded  with 
the  archbishopric  of  Aries  in  1262,  and  in  1265  he  held  a  provin- 


*  Wadding,  ann.  1256,  No.  6 ;  arm.  1289,  No.  26.— Hist.  Tribulat.  (loc.  cit. 
p.  285).— Salimbene  Chron.  pp.  131-33,  317.— Tocco,  pp.  476-77.— P.  Rodulphii 
Hist.  Seraph.  Relig.  Lib.  I.  fol.  117.— Affo,  Lib.  m.  c.  x. 


26  THE   SPIRITUAL   FRANCISCANS. 

cial  synod  with  the  object  of  condemning  the  Joachites.  who  were 
still  numerous  in  his  province.  An  elaborate  refutation  of  the 
errors  of  the  Everlasting  Gospel  was  deemed  necessary ;  it  was 
deplored  that  many  learned  men  still  suffered  themselves  to  be 
misled  by  it,  and  that  books  containing  it  were  written  and  eagerly 
passed  from  hand  to  hand.  The  anathema  was  decreed  against 
this,  but  no  measures  of  active  persecution  seem  to  have  been 
adopted,  nor  do  we  hear  of  any  steps  taken  by  the  Inquisition  to 
suppress  the  heresy.  As  we  shall  see  hereafter,  the  leaven  long 
remained  in  Languedoc  and  Provence,  and  gave  a  decided  impress 
to  the  Spiritual  Franciscanism  of  those  regions.  It  mattered  little 
that  the  hoped-for  year  1260  came  and  passed  away  without  the 
fulfilment  of  the  prophecy.  Earnest  believers  can  always  find  ex- 
cuses for  such  errors  in  computation,  and  the  period  of  the  advent 
of  the  Holy  Ghost  could  be  put  off  from  time  to  time,  so  as  always 
to  stimulate  hope  with  the  prospect  of  emancipation  in  the  near 
future." 

Although  the  removal  of  John  of  Parma  from  the  generalate 
had  been  the  victory  of  the  Conventuals,  the  choice  of  Bonaven- 
tura  might  well  seem  to  give  to  the  Spirituals  assurance  of  con- 
tinued supremacy.  In  his  controversy  with  William  of  Saint 
Amour  he  had  taken  the  most  advanced  ground  in  denying  that 
Christ  and  the  apostles  held  property  of  any  kind,  and  in  identify- 
ing poverty  with  perfection.  "  Deep  poverty  is  laudable ;  this  is 
true  of  itself :  therefore  deeper  poverty  is  more  laudable,  and  the 
deepest,  the  most  laudable.  But  this  is  the  poverty  of  him  who 
neither  in  private  nor  in  common  keeps  anything  for  himself.  .  .  . 
To  renounce  all  things,  in  private  or  in  common,  is  Christian  per- 
fection, not  only  sufficient  but  abundant :  it  is  the  principal  coun- 
sel of  evangelical  perfection,  its  fundamental  principle  and  sublime 
foundation.''  Not  only  this,  but  he  was  deeply  imbued  with  mys- 
ticism and  was  the  first  to  give  authoritative  expression  to  the 
IUuminism  which  subsequently  gave  the  Church  so  much  trouble. 


•  Lib.  de  Antichristo  P.  i.  c.  x.,  xiii.,  xiv.  (Martene  Ampl.  Coll.  IX.  1273, 
1313,  1325-35).— Thomae  Aquinat.  Opusc.  contra  Impugn.  Rehg.  c.  xxiv.  5,  6.— 
Concil.  Arelatens.  ann.  12G0  (1265)  c.  1  (Harduin.  VII.  509-12).— Fisquet,  La 
France  Pontificate,  M6tropole  d'Aix,  p.  577.— Kenan,  p.  254. 


INCREASING    DISCORD.  27 

His  Mystica  Theologia  is  in  sharp  contrast  to  the  arid  scholas- 
tic theology  of  the  day  as  represented  by  Thomas  Aquinas.  The 
soul  is  brought  face  to  face  with  God ;  its  sins  are  to  be  repented 
of  in  the  silent  watches  of  the  night,  and  it  is  to  seek  God  through 
its  own  efforts.  It  is  not  to  look  to  others  for  aid  or  leader- 
ship, but,  depending  on  itself,  strive  for  the  vision  of  the  Divine. 
Through  this  Path  of  Purgation  it  ascends  to  the  Path  of  Illumi- 
nation, and  is  prepared  for  the  reception  of  the  Divine  Radiance. 
Finally  it  reaches  the  Third  Path,  which  leads  to  union  with  the 
Godhead  and  participation  in  Divine  Wisdom.  Molinos  and  Ma- 
dame Guy  on  indulged  in  no  more  dangerous  speculations ;  and 
the  mystic  tendencies  of  the  Spirituals  received  a  powerful  stimu- 
lus from  such  teachings.* 

It  was  inevitable  that  the  strife  within  the  Order  between 
property  and  poverty  should  grow  increasingly  bitter.  Questions 
were  constantly  arising  which  showed  the  incompatibility  of  the 
vows  as  laid  down  by  St.  Francis  with  the  functions  of  an  organ- 
ization which  had  grown  to  be  one  of  the  leading  factors  of  a 
wealthy  and  worldly  Church.  In  1255  we  find  the  sisters  of  the 
monastery  of  St.  Elizabeth  complaining  to  Alexander  IV.  that 
when  property  was  given  or  bequeathed  to  them  the  ecclesiastical 
authorities  enforced  on  them  the  observance  of  the  Rule,  by  com- 
pelling them  to  part  with  it  within  a  year  by  sale  or  gift,  and  the 
pope  graciously  promised  that  no  such  custom  should  be  enforced 
in  future.  About  the  same  time  John  of  Parma  complained  that 
when  his  friars  were  promoted  to  the  episcopate  they  carried  away 
with  them  books  and  other  things  of  which  they  had  properly 
only  the  use,  being  unable  to  own  anything  under  peril  of  their 
souls.  Again  Alexander  graciously  replied  that  friars,  on  promo- 
tion, must  deliver  to  the  provincial  everything  which  they  had  in 
their  hands.  Such  troubles  must  have  been  of  almost  daily  occur- 
rence, and  it  was  inevitable  that  the  increasing  friction  should 
result  in  schism.  When  the  blessed  Gilio,  the  third  disciple  who 
joined  St.  Francis,  was  taken  to  Assisi  to  view  the  splendid  build- 
ings erected  in  honor  of  the  humble  Francis,  and  was  carried 
through  three  magnificent  churches,  connected  with  a  vast  refec- 


*  S.  Bonavent.  de  Paup.  Christi  Art.  I.  No.  i.,  ii.— Ejusd.  Mystic.  Theol.  cap.  I. 
Partic.  2;  cap.  n.  Partic.  1,  2;  Cap.  in.  Partic.  1. 


28  THE   SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

tory,  a  spacious  dormitory,  and  other  offices  and  cloisters,  adorned 
with  lofty  arches  and  spacious  portals,  he  kept  silent  until  one  of 
his  guides  pressed  him  for  an  expression  of  admiration.  "  Breth- 
ren," he  then  said,  "  there  is  nothing  lacking  except  your  wives." 
This  seemed  somewhat  irrelevant,  till  he  explained  that  the  vows 
of  poverty  and  chastity  were  equally  binding,  and  now  that  one 
was  set  aside  the  other  might  as  well  follow.  Salimbene  relates 
that  in  the  convent  of  Pisa  he  met  Fra  Boncampagno  di  Prato, 
who,  in  place  of  the  two  new  tunics  per  year  distributed  to  each 
of  the  brethren,  would  only  accept  one  old  one,  and  who  declared 
that  he  could  scarce  satisfy  God  for  taking  that  one.  Such  exag- 
gerated conscientious  sensitiveness  could  not  but  be  peculiarly 
exasperating  to  the  more  worldly  members.* 

The  Conventuals  had  lost  no  time  in  securing  the  results  of 
their  victory  over  John  of  Parma.  Scarce  had  his  resignation  been 
secured,  and  before  Bonaventura  could  arrive  from  Paris  they 
obtained  from  Alexander,  February  20,  1257,  a  repetition  of  the 
declaration  of  Innocent  IV.  which  enabled  the  Order  to  handle 
money  and  hold  property  through  the  transparent  device  of  agents 
and  the  Holy  See.  The  disgust  of  the  Puritan  party  was  great, 
and  even  the  implicit  reverence  prescribed  for  the  papacy  could 
not  prevent  ominous  mutterings  of  disobedience,  raising  questions 
as  to  the  extent  of  the  papal  power  to  bind  and  to  loose,  which  in 
time  were  to  ripen  into  open  rebellion.  The  Eule  had  been  pro- 
claimed a  revelation  equal  in  authority  to  the  gospel,  and  it  might 
well  be  asked  whether  even  the  successor  of  St.  Peter  could  set  it 
aside.  It  was  probably  about  this  time  that  Bert  hold  of  Katisbon, 
the  most  celebrated  Franciscan  preacher  of  his  day,  in  discoursing 
to  his  brethren  on  the  monastic  state,  boldly  declared  that  the 
vows  of  poverty,  obedience,  and  chastity  were  so  binding  that 
even  the  pope  could  not  dispense  for  them.  This,  in  fact,  was 
admitted  on  all  sides  as  a  truism.  About  1290  the  Dominican 
Provincial  of  Germany,  Hermann  of  Minden,  in  an  encyclical,  al- 
ludes to  it  as  a  matter  of  course,  but  in  little  more  than  a  quarter 
of  a  century  we  shall  see  that  such  utterances  were  treated  as  her- 
esy, and  were  sternly  suppressed  with  the  stake.  + 

#  Wadding.  Regest.  Alex.  PP.  IV.  No.  39-41;  Annal.  ann,  1262,  No.  86.— 
Salimbene,  p.  122. 

t  Wadding,  ann.  1256,  No.  4;  Regest.  Alex.  PP.  IV.  No.  66.— Bertboldi  a 


BONAVENTURA'S    EFFORTS.  29 

Bonaventura,  as  we  have  seen,  honestly  sought  to  restrain  the 
growing  laxity  of  the  Order.  Before  leaving  Paris  he  addressed, 
April  23,  1257,  an  encyclical  letter  to  the  provincials,  calling  their 
attention  to  the  prevalent  vices  of  the  brethren  and  the  contempt 
to  which  they  exposed  the  whole  Order.  Again,  some  ten  years 
later,  at  the  instance  of  Clement  IV.,  he  issued  another  similar 
epistle,  in  which  he  strongly  expressed  his  horror  at  the  neglect  of 
the  Rule  shown  in  the  shameless  greed  of  so  many  members,  the 
importunate  striving  for  gain,  the  ceaseless  litigation  caused  by 
their  grasping  after  legacies  and  burials,  and  the  splendor  and  lux- 
ury of  their  buildings.  The  provincials  were  instructed  to  put 
an  end  to  these  disorders  by  penance,  imprisonment,  or  expulsion  ; 
but  however  earnest  in  his  zeal  Bonaventura  may  have  been,  and 
however  self-denying  in  his  own  life,  he  lacked  the  fiery  energy 
which  enabled  John  of  Parma  to  give  effect  to  his  convictions. 
How  utter  was  the  prevailing  degeneracy  is  seen  in  the  complaint 
presented  in  1265  to  Clement  IV.,  that  in  many  places  the  eccle- 
siastical authorities  held  that  the  friars,  being  dead  to  the  world, 
were  incapable  of  inheritance.  Relief  was  prayed  from  this,  and 
Clement  issued  a  bull  declaring  them  competent  to  inherit  and 
free  to  hold  their  inheritances,  or  to  sell  them,  and  to  use  the  prop- 
erty or  its  price  as  might  to  them  seem  best.* 

The  question  of  poverty  evidently  was  one  incapable  of  per- 


Ratispona  Sermones,  Monachii,  1882,  p.  68.  —  H.  Denifle,  Archiv  fiir  Litt.-  u. 
Kirchengeschichte,  1886,  p.  649. 

To  the  true  Franciscan  the  Rule  and  the  gospel  were  one  and  the  same.  Ac- 
cording to  Thomas  of  Celano,  "II  perfetto  amatore  dell1  osservanza  del  santo 
vangelio  e  della  professione  della  nostra  regola,  che  non  e  altro  che  perfetta 
osservanza  del  vangelio,  questo  [Francesco]  ardentissimamente  amava,  e  quelli 
che  sono  e  saranno  veri  amatori,  dono  a  essi  singular  benedizione.  Veramente, 
dicea,  questa  nostra  professione  a  quelli  che  la  seguitano,  esser  libro  di  vita, 
speranza  di  salute,  arra  di  gloria,  melodia  del  vangelio,  via  di  croce,  stato  di 
perfezione,  chiave  di  paradiso,  e  patto  di  eterna  pace." — Amoni,  Legenda  S.  Fran- 
cisci,  App.  c.  xxix. 

*  S.  Bonavent,  Opp.  I.  485-6  (Ed.  1584).— Wadding,  ann.  1257,  No.  9;  Re- 
gest.  Clem.  PP.  IV.  No.  I. 

Pierre  Jean  Olivi  states  that  he  himself  heard  Bonaventura  declare  in  a  chap- 
ter held  in  Paris  that  he  would,  at  any  moment,  submit  to  be  ground  to  powder 
if  it  would  bring  the  Order  back  to  the  condition  designed  by  St.  Francis.— 
Franz  Ehrlc,  Archiv  fiir  L.  u.  K.  1887,  p.  517. 


30  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

manent  and  satisfactory  settlement.  Dissension  in  the  Order 
could  not  be  healed.  In  vain  Gregory  X.,  about  1275,  was  ap- 
pealed to,  and  decided  that  the  injunction  of  the  Kule  against  the 
possession  of  property,  individually  or  in  common,  was  to  be  strict- 
ly observed.  The  worldly  party  continued  to  point  out  the  in- 
compatibility of  this  with  the  necessities  of  human  nature ;  they 
declared  it  to  be  a  tempting  of  God  and  a  suicide  of  the  individ- 
ual ;  the  quarrel  continually  grew  more  bitterly  envenomed,  and 
in  1279  Nicholas  III.  undertook  to  settle  it  with  a  formal  declara- 
tion which  should  forever  close  the  mouths  of  all  cavillers.  For 
two  months  he  secretly  labored  at  it  in  consultation  with  the  two 
Franciscan  cardinals,  Palestrina  and  Albano,  the  general,  Bona- 
grazia,  and  some  of  the  provincials.  Then  it  was  submitted  to  a 
commission  in  which  was  Benedetto  Caietano,  afterwards  Boni- 
face VIII.  Finally  it  was  read  and  adopted  in  full  consistory, 
and  it  was  included,  twenty  years  later,  in  the  additions  to  the 
canon  law  compiled  and  published  by  order  of  Boniface.  No  ut- 
terance of  the  Holy  See  could  have  more  careful  consideration 
and  more  solemn  authority  than  the  bull  known  as  Emit  qui  semi- 
nat,  which  was  thus  ushered  into  the  world,  and  which  subsequent- 
ly became  the  subject  of  such  deadly  controversy.* 

It  declares  the  Franciscan  Kule  to  be  the  inspiration  of  the 
Holy  Ghost  through  St.  Francis.  The  renunciation  of  property, 
not  only  individual  but  in  common,  is  meritorious  and  holy.  Such 
absolute  renunciation  of  possession  had  been  practised  by  Christ 
and  the  apostles,  and  had  been  taught  by  them  to  their  disciples ; 
it  is  not  only  meritorious  and  perfect,  but  lawful  and  possible,  for 
there  is  a  distinction  between  use,  which  is  permitted,  and  owner- 
ship, which  is  forbidden.  Following  the  example  of  Innocent  IV. 
and  Alexander  IV.,  the  proprietorship  of  all  that  the  Franciscans 
use  is  declared  to  be  vested,  now  and  hereafter,  in  the  Koman 
Church  and  pontiff,  which  concede  to  the  friars  the  usufruct 
thereof.  The  prohibition  to  receive  and  handle  money  is  to  be 
enforced,  and  borrowing  is  especially  deprecated ;  but,  when  neces- 
sity obliges,  this  may  be  effected  through  third  parties,  although 
the  brethren  must  abstain  from  handling  the  money  or  adminis- 
tering or  expending  it.     As  for  legacies,  they  must  not  be  left 


•  Li  j.  v.  Sexto  xii.  3.— Wadding,  ann.  1279,  No.  11. 


FRUITLESS    SETTLEMENTS.  31 

directly  to  the  friars,  but  only  for  their  use  ;  and  minute  regulations 
are  drawn  up  for  exchanging  or  selling  books  and  utensils.  The 
bull  concludes  with  instructions  that  it  is  to  be  read  and  taught 
in  the  schools,  but  no  one,  under  pain  of  excommunication  and 
loss  of  office  and  benefice,  shall  do  anything  but  expound  it  liter- 
ally— it  is  not  to  be  glossed  or  commented  upon,  or  discussed,  or 
explained  away.  All  doubts  and  questions  shall  be  submitted  di- 
rectly to  the  Holy  See,  and  any  one  disputing  or  commenting  on 
the  Franciscan  Rule  or  the  definitions  of  the  bull  shall  undergo 
excommunication,  removable  only  by  the  pope. 

Had  the  question  been  capable  of  permanent  settlement  in  this 
sense,  this  solemn  utterance  would  have  put  an  end  to  further 
trouble.  Unluckily,  human  nature  did  not  cease  to  be  human 
nature,  with  its  passions  and  necessities,  on  crossing  the  threshold 
of  a  Franciscan  convent.  Unluckily,  papal  constitutions  were  as 
cobwebs  when  they  sought  to  control  the  ineradicable  vices  and 
weakness  of  man.  Unluckily,  moreover,  there  were  consciences 
too  sensitive  to  be  satisfied  with  fine-drawn  distinctions  and  sub- 
tleties ingeniously  devised  to  evade  the  truth.  Yet  the  bull  Exiit 
qui  seminat  for  a  while  relieved  the  papacy  from  further  discus- 
sion, although  it  could  not  quiet  the  intestine  dissensions  of  the 
Order.  There  was  still  a  body  of  recalcitrants,  not  numerous, 
it  is  true,  but  eminent  for  the  piety  and  virtue  of  its  members, 
which  could  not  be  reconciled  by  these  subterfuges.  These  re- 
calcitrants gradually  formed  themselves  into  two  distinct  bodies, 
one  in  Italy,  and  the  other  in  southern  France.  At  first  there  is 
little  to  distinguish  them  apart,  and  for  a  long  while  they  acted 
in  unison,  but  there  gradually  arose  a  divergence  between  them, 
which  in  the  end  became  decisively  marked,  owing  to  the  greater 
influence  exercised  in  Languedoc  and  Provence  by  the  traditions 
of  Joachim  and  the  Everlasting  Gospel. 

We  have  seen  how  the  thirst  for  ascetic  poverty,  coupled  in 
many  cases,  doubtless,  with  the  desire  to  escape  from  the  sordid 
cares  of  daily  life,  led  thousands  to  embrace  a  career  of  wander- 
ing mendicancy.  Sarabites  and  circumcelliones — vagrant  monks, 
subjected  to  no  rule — had  been  the  curse  of  the  Church  ever  since 
the  invention  of  cenobitism ;  and  the  exaltation  of  poverty  in  the 
thirteenth  century  had  given  a  new  impulse  to  the  crowds  who 


32  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

preferred  the  idleness  of  the  road  or  of  the  hermitage  to  the  re- 
straints and  labor  of  civilized  existence.  It  was  in  vain  that  the 
Lateran  Council  had  prohibited  the  formation  of  new  and  unau- 
thorized Orders.  The  splendid  success  of  the  Mendicants  had 
proved  too  alluring,  and  others  were  formed  on  the  same  basis, 
without  the  requisite  preliminary  of  the  papal  approval.  The 
multitudes  of  holy  beggars  were  becoming  a  serious  nuisance,  op- 
pressive to  the  people  and  disgraceful  to  the  Church.  When  Greg- 
orv  X.  summoned  the  General  Council  of  Lyons,  in  1274.  this  was 
one  of  the  evils  to  be  remedied.  The  Lateran  canon  prohibiting 
the  formation  of  unauthorized  Orders  was  renewed.  Gregory  pro- 
posed to  suppress  all  the  congregations  of  hermits,  but,  at  the  in- 
stance of  Cardinal  Eichard,  the  Carmelites  and  Augustinians  were 
allowed  to  exist  on  sufferance  until  further  order,  while  the  au- 
dacity of  other  associations,  not  as  yet  approved,  was  condemned, 
especially  that  of  the  mendicants,  whose  multitude  was  declared 
to  exceed  all  bounds.  Such  mendicant  Orders  as  had  been  con- 
firmed since  the  Council  of  Lateran  were  permitted  to  continue, 
but  they  were  instructed  to  admit  no  new  members,  to  acquire  no 
new  houses,  and  not  to  sell  what  they  possessed  without  special 
license  from  the  Holy  See.  Evidently  it  was  felt  that  the  time 
had  come  for  decisive  measures  to  check  the  tide  of  saintly  men- 
dicancy."- 

Some  vague  and  incorrect  rumors  of  this  legislation  penetrat- 
ing to  Italy,  led  to  an  explosion  which  started  one  of  the  most 
extraordinary  series  of  persecutions  which  the  history  of  human 
perversity  affords.  On  the  one  hand  there  is  the  marvellous  con- 
stancy which  endured  lifelong  martyrdom  for  an  idea  almost  un- 
intelligible to  the  modern  mind ;  on  the  other  there  is  the  seem- 
ingly causeless  ferocity,  which  appears  to  persecute  for  the  mere 
pleasure  of  persecution,  only  to  be  explained  by  the  bitterness  of 
the  feuds  existing  within  the  Order,  and  the  savage  determination 
to  enforce  submission  at  every  cost. 

It  was  reported  that  the  Council  of  Lyons  had  decreed  that 
the  Mendicants  could  hold  property.  Most  of  the  brethren  ac- 
quiesced readily  enough,  but  those  who  regarded  the  Rule  as  divine 
revelation,  not  to  be  tampered  with  by  any  earthly  authority,  de- 

*  Concil.  Lugdunens.  II.  c.  23  (Harduiu.  VII.  715).— Salimbene,  pp.  110-11. 


PERSECUTION    COMMENCED.  33 

clarecl  that  it  would  be  apostasy,  and  a  thing  not  to  be  admitted  un- 
der any  circumstances.  Several  disputations  were  held  which  only 
confirmed  each  side  in  its  views.  One  point  which  gave  rise  to 
peculiar  animosity  was  the  refusal  of  the  Spirituals  to  take  their 
turns  in  the  daily  rounds  in  quest  of  moneyed  alms,  which  had 
grown  to  be  the  custom  in  most  places ;  and  it  is  easy  to  imagine 
the  bitter  antagonism  to  which  this  disobedience  must  have  led. 
It  shows  how  strained  were  the  relations  between  the  factions 
that  proceedings  for  heresy  were  forthwith  commenced  against 
these  zealots.  The  rumor  proved  false,  the  excitement  died  away, 
and  the  prosecutions  were  allowed  to  slumber  for  a  few  years, 
when  they  were  revived  through  fear  that  these  extreme  opinions, 
if  left  unpunished,  might  win  over  the  majority.  Liberato  da 
Macerata,  Angelo  da  Cingoli  (il  Clareno),  Traymondo,  Tommaso  da 
Tollentino,  and  one  or  two  others  whose  names  have  not  reached 
us  were  the  obdurate  ones  who  would  make  no  concession,  even 
in  theory.  Angelo,  to  whom  we  owe  an  account  of  the  matter, 
declared  that  they  were  ready  to  render  implicit  obedience,  that 
no  offence  was  proved  against  them,  but  that  nevertheless  they 
were  condemned,  as  schismatics  and  heretics,  to  perpetual  impris- 
onment in  chains.  The  sentence  was  inhumanly  harsh.  They 
were  to  be  deprived  of  the  sacraments,  even  upon  the  death-bed, 
thus  killing  soul  as  well  as  body  ;  during  life  no  one  was  to  speak 
with  them,  not  even  the  jailer  who  brought  the  daily  pittance  of 
bread  and  water  to  their  cells,  and  examined  their  fetters  to  see 
that  they  were  attempting  no  escape.  Asa  warning,  moreover,  the 
sentence  was  ordered  to  be  read  weekly  in  all  the  chapters,  and 
no  one  was  to  presume  to  criticise  it  as  unjust.  This  was  no  idle 
threat,  for  when  Friar  Tommaso  da  Casteldemilio  heard  it  read  and 
said  it  was  displeasing  to  God,  he  was  cast  into  a  similar  prison, 
where  he  rotted  to  death  in  a  few  months.  The  fierce  spirits  in 
control  of  the  Order  were  evidently  determined  that  at  least  the 
vow  of  obedience  should  be  maintained.* 


*  Angel.  Clarinens.  Epist.  Excusat.  (Archiv  fur  Litt.-  u.  Kirchengeschichte, 
1885,  pp.  523-4).— Histor.  Tribulation.  (Ibid.  1886,  pp.  302-4).—  Ubertini  Re- 
sponsio  (Ibid.  1887,  p.  68).  —  Cf.  Rodulphii  Hist.  Seraph.  Relig.  Lib.  11.  fol. 
180. 

For  the  first  time  the  development  and  history  of  the  Spiritual  Franciscans 
can  now  be  traced  with  some  accuracy,  thanks  to  Franz  Ehrle,  S.  J.,  who  has 
III.— 3 


34  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

The  prisoners  seem  to  have  lain  in  jail  until  after  the  election 
to  the  generalate  of  Raymond  Gaufridi,  at  Easter,  1289.  Visit- 
ing the  Hark  of  Ancona,  where  they  were  incarcerated,  he  inves- 
tigated the  case,  blamed  severely  the  perpetrators  of  the  injustice, 
and  set  the  martyrs  free  in  1290.  The  Order  had  been  growing 
more  lax  in  its  observance  than  ever,  in  spite  of  the  bull  Exiit  qui 
seminat.  Matteo  d'Acquasparta,  who  was  general  from  1287  to 
1289,  was  easy  and  kindly,  well-intentioned  but  given  to  self -in- 
dulgence, and  by  no  means  inclined  to  the  effort  requisite  to  en- 
force  the  Rule.  Respect  for  it,  indeed,  was  daily  diminishing. 
Coffers  were  placed  in  the  churches  to  receive  offerings ;  bargains 
were  made  as  to  the  price  of  masses  and  for  the  absolution  of  sin- 
ners ;  boys  were  stationed  at  the  church-doors  to  sell  wax  tapers 
in  honor  of  saints ;  the  Friars  habitually  begged  money  in  the 
streets,  accompanied  by  boys  to  receive  and  carry  it ;  the  sepulture 
of  the  rich  was  eagerly  sought  for,  leading  to  disgraceful  quarrels 
with  the  heirs  and  with  the  secular  clergy.  Everywhere  there 
was  self-seeking  and  desire  for  the  enjoyment  of  an  idle  and  luxu- 
rious life.  It  is  true  that  lapses  of  the  flesh  were  still  rigidly  pun- 
ished, but  these  cases  were  sufficiently  frequent  to  show  that  ample 
cause  for  scandal  arose  from  the  forbidden  familiarity  with  women 
which  the  brethren  permitted  themselves.  So  utter  was  the  gen- 
eral demoralization  that  Xicholas,  the  Provincial  of  France,  even 
dared  to  write  a  tract  calling  in  question  the  bull  Exiit  qui  semi- 
nat and  its  exposition  of  the  Rule.  As  this  was  in  direct  contra- 
vention of  the  bull  itself,  Acquasparta  felt  compelled  to  condemn 
the  work  and  to  punish  :ts  author  and  his  supporters,  but  the  evil 
continued  to  work.  In  the  Mark  of  Ancona  and  in  some  other 
places  the  reaction  against  asceticism  was  so  strong  that  the  Testa- 
ment of  the  revered  Francis  was  officially  ordered  to  be  burned. 
It  was  the  main  bulwark  of  the  Spirituals  against  relaxation  of 
the  Rule,  and  in  one  instance  it  was  actually  burned  on  the  head 
of  a  friar,  X.  de  Recanate,  who  presumably  had  made  himself  ob- 
noxious by  insisting  on  its  authority.* 

printed  the  most  important  documents  relating  to  this  schism  in  the  Order,  elu- 
cidated with  all  the  resources  of  exact  research.  My  numerous  references  to  his 
papers  show  the  extent  of  my  indebtedness  to  his  labors. 

*  Histor.  Tribulat.  (loc.  cit.  1886,  p.  305).  —  Ubertioi  Responsio  (Ibid.  1887, 
pp.  69,  7?).— Articuli  Transgressionurn  (Ibid.  1887,  pp.  105-7).— Wadding,  ann. 


PROTECTED    BY    CELESTIN    V.  35 

Raymond  Gaufridi  was  earnestly  desirous  of  restoring  disci- 
pline, but  the  relaxation  of  the  Order  had  grown  past  curing.  His 
release  of  the  Spirituals  at  Ancona  caused  much  murmuring ;  he 
was  ridiculed  as  a  patron  of  fantastic  and  superstitious  men,  and 
conspiracies  were  set  on  foot  which  never  ceased  till  his  removal 
was  effected  in  1295.  It  was  perhaps  to  conjure  these  attempts  that 
he  sent  Liberato,  Angelo,  Tommaso,  and  two  kindred  spirits  named 
Marco  and  Piero  to  Armenia,  where  they  induced  King  Haito  II. 
to  enter  the  Franciscan  Order,  and  won  from  him  the  warmest 
eulogies.  Even  in  the  East,  however,  the  hatred  of  their  fellow- 
missionaries  was  so  earnest  and  so  demonstrative  that  they  were 
forced  to  return  in  1293.  On  their  arrival  in  Italy  the  provincial, 
Monaldo,  refused  to  receive  them  or  to  allow  them  to  remain  until 
they  could  communicate  with  Raymond,  declaring  that  he  would 
rather  entertain  fornicators.* 

The  unreasoning  wrath  which  insisted  on  these  votaries  of  pov- 
erty violating  their  convictions  received  a  check  when,  in  1294,  the 
choice  of  the  exhausted  conclave  fell  by  chance  on  the  hermit 
Pier  Morrone,  who  suddenly  found  his  mountain  burrow  trans- 
formed into  the  papal  palace.  Celestin  V.  preserved  in  St.  Peter's 
chair  the  predilection  for  solitude  and  maceration  which  had  led 
him  to  the  life  of  the  anchorite.  To  him  Raymond  referred  the 
Spirituals,  whom  he  seemed  unable  to  protect.  Celestin  listened 
to  them  kindly  and  invited  them  to  enter  his  special  Order — the 
Celestinian  Benedictines — but  they  explained  to  him  the  difference 
of  their  vows,  and  how  their  brethren  detested  the  observance  of 
the  Rule.  Then  in  public  audience  he  ordered  them  to  observe 
strictly  the  Rule  and  Testament  of  Francis  ;  he  released  them  from 
obedience  to  all  except  himself  and  to  Liberato,  whom  he  made 
their  chief;  Cardinal  Napoleone  Orsini  was  declared  their  pro- 
tector, and  the  abbot  of  the  Celestinians  was  ordered  to  provide 


1289,  No.  22-3.— Ubertini  Declaratio  (Archiv,  1887,  pp.  168-9).— Dante  contrasts 
Acquasparta  with  Ubertino  da  Casale,  of  whom  we  shall  see  more  presently — 

"  Ma  non  sia  da  Casal  ne  d'Acquasparta 
La  onde  vegnon  tali  alia  Scrittura 
Ch'  uno  la  fugge  e  Taltro  la  coarta." — (Paradiso  xil). 

#  Hist.  Tribulat.  (loc.  cit,  1886,  pp.  306-8).— Angel.  Clarinens.  Epist.  (Ibid. 
1885,  pp.  524-5).— Wadding,  ann.  1292,  No.  14. 


35  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

them  with  hermitages.  Thus  they  were  fairly  out  of  the  Order; 
thev  were  not  even  to  call  themselves  Minorites  or  Franciscans, 
and  it  might  be  supposed  that  their  brethren  would  be  as  glad  to 
get  rid  of  them  and  their  assumption  of  superior  sanctity  as  they 
were  to  escape  from  oppression.* 

Yet  the  hatred  provoked  by  the  quarrel  was  too  deep  and  bit- 
ter to  spare  its  victims,  and  the  breathing-space  which  they  en- 
joyed was  short.  Celestin's  pontificate  came  to  an  abrupt  termi- 
nation. Utterly  unfitted  for  his  position,  speedily  made  the  tool  of 
designing  men,  and  growing  weary  of  the  load  which  he  felt  him- 
self unable  to  endure,  after  less  than  six  months  he  was  persuaded 
to  abdicate,  in  December,  1294,  and  was  promptly  thrown  into  pris- 
on by  his  successor,  Boniface  Till.,  for  fear  that  he  might  be  led 
to  reconsider  an  abdication  the  legality  of  which  might  be  ques- 
tioned. All  of  Celestin's  acts  and  grants  were  forthwith  annulled, 
and  so  complete  was  the  obliteration  of  everything  that  he  had 
done,  that  even  the  appointment  of  a  notary  is  found  to  require 
confirmation  and  a  fresh  commission.  Boniface's  contempt  for  the 
unworldly  enthusiasm  of  asceticism  did  not  lead  him  to  make  any 
exception  in  favor  of  the  Spirituals.  To  him  the  Franciscan  Or- 
der was  merely  an  instrument  for  the  furtherance  of  his  ambitious 
schemes,  and  its  worldliness  was  rather  to  be  stimulated  than  re- 
pressed. Though  he  placed  in  his  Sixth  Book  of  Decretals  the 
bull  Exiit  qui  seminat,  his  practical  exposition  of  its  provisions  is 
seen  in  two  bulls  issued  July  17,  1200,  by  one  of  which  he  as- 
signs to  the  Franciscans  of  Paris  one  thousand  marks,  to  be  taken 
from  the  legacies  for  pious  uses,  and  by  the  other  he  converts  to 
them  a  legacy  of  three  hundred  livres  bequeathed  by  Ada,  lady  of 
Pernes,  for  the  benefit  of  the  Holy  Land.  Under  such  auspices 
the  degradation  of  the  Order  could  not  but  be  rapid.  Before  his 
first  year  was  out,  Boniface  had  determined  upon  the  removal  of 
the  general,  Kaymond.  October  29, 1295,  he  offered  the  latter  the 
bishopric  of  Pa  via,  and  on  his  protesting  that  he  had  not  strength 
for  the  burden,  Boniface  said  that  he  could  not  be  fit  for  the 
heavier  load  of  the  generalate,  of  which  he  relieved  him  on  the 
spot.     ^Ye  can  understand  the  insolence  which  led  a  party  of  the 


*  Angel.  Clarin.  Epist.  (cp.  cit.  1885,  p.  526) ;  Hist.  Tribulationum  (lb.  188G, 
pp.  308-9). 


BONIFACE    VIII.  37 

Conventual  faction  to  visit  Celestin  in  his  prison  and  taunt  and 
insult  him  for  the  favor  which  he  had  shown  to  the  Spirituals.  A 
prosecution  for  heresy  which  Boniface  ordered,  in  March,  1295, 
against  Fra  Pagano  di  Pietra-Santa  was  doubtless  instigated  by 
the  same  spirit.* 

More  than  this.  To  Boniface's  worldly,  practical  mind  the 
hordes  of  wandering  mendicants,  subjected  to  no  authority,  were  an 
intolerable  nuisance,  whether  it  arose  from  ill-regulated  asceticism 
or  idle  vagabondage.  The  decree  of  the  Council  of  Lyons  had 
failed  to  suppress  the  evil,  and,  in  1496  and  1497,  Boniface  issued 
instructions  to  all  bishops  to  compel  such  wanderers  or  hermits, 
popularly  known  as  Bizochi,  either  to  lay  aside  their  fictitious  re- 
ligious habits  and  give  up  their  mode  of  life,  or  to  betake  themselves 
to  some  authorized  Order.  The  inquisitors  were  instructed  to  de- 
nounce to  the  bishops  all  suspected  persons,  and  if  the  prelates 
were  remiss,  to  report  them  to  the  Holy  See.  One  remarkable 
clause  gives  special  authority  to  the  inquisitors  to  prosecute  sucL 
of  these  Bizochi  as  may  be  members  of  their  own  Orders,  thus 
showing  that  there  was  no  heresy  involved,  as  otherwise  the  in- 
quisitors would  have  required  no  additional  powers. f 

The  following  year  Boniface  proceeded  to  more  active  meas- 
ures. He  ordered  the  Franciscan,  Matteo  da  Chieti,  Inquisitor  of 
Assisi,  to  visit  personally  the  mountains  of  the  Abruzzi  and  Mark 
of  Ancona  and  to  drive  from  their  lurking  places  the  apostates 
from  various  religious  Orders  and  the  Bizochi  who  infested  those 
regions.  His  previous  steps  had  probably  been  ineffective,  and 
possibly  also  he  may  have  been  moved  to  more  decisive  action  by 
the  rebellious  attitude  of  the  Spirituals  and  proscribed  mendicants. 
Not  only  did  they  question  the  papal  authority,  but  they  were  be- 
ginning to  argue  that  the  papacy  itself  was  vacant.  So  far  from 
being  content  with  the  bull  Exiit  qui  seminat,  they  held  that  its 
author,  Nicholas  III.,  had  been  deprived  by  God  of  the  papal  func- 
tions, and  consequently  that  he  had  had  no  legitimate  successors. 
Thereafter  there  had  been  no  true  ordinations  of  priest  and  prel- 
ate, and  the  real  Church  consisted  in  themselves  alone.     To  rem- 


*  Hist.  Tribulat.  (loc.  cit.  1886,  pp.  309-10).— Faucon  et  Thomas,  Registres  de 
Boniface  VIII.  No.  37, 1232, 1233, 1292,  1825.— Wadding,  ann.  1295,  No.  14. 
t  Franz  Ehrle,  Archiv  fur  L.  u.  K.  1886,  pp.  157-8. 


38  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

edy  this,  Frere  Matthieu  de  Bodici  came  from  Provence,  bringing 
with  him  the  books  of  Pierre  Jean  Olivi,  and  in  the  Church  of  St. 
Peter  in  Home  he  was  elected  pope  by  five  Spirituals  and  thirteen 
women.  Boniface  promptly  put  the  Inquisition  on  their  track, 
but  they  fled  to  Sicily,  which,  as  we  shall  see,  subsequently  be- 
came the  headquarters  of  the  sect.* 

Friar  Jordan,  to  whom  we  are  indebted  for  these  details,  as- 
sumes that  Liberato  and  his  associates  were  concerned  in  this 
movement.  The  dates  and  order  of  events  are  hopelessly  con- 
fused, but  it  would  rather  seem  that  the  section  of  the  Spirituals 
represented  by  Liberato  kept  themselves  aloof  from  all  such  revo- 
lutionary projects.  Their  sufferings  were  real  and  prolonged,  but 
had  they  been  guilty  of  participating  in  the  election  of  an  anti- 
pope  they  would  have  had  but  the  choice  between  perpetual  im- 
prisonment and  the  stake.  They  were  accused  of  holding  that 
Boniface  was  not  a  lawful  pope,  that  the  authority  of  the  Church 
was  vested  in  themselves  alone,  and  that  the  Greek  Church  was 
preferable  to  the  Latin — in  other  words  of  Joachitism — but  Angelo 
declares  emphatically  that  all  this  was  untrue,  and  his  constancy 
of  endurance  during  fift}T  years  of  persecution  and  suffering  en- 
titles his  assertion  to  respect.  He  relates  that  after  their  authori- 
zation by  Celestin  Y.  they  lived  as  hermits  in  accordance  with  the 
papal  concession,  sojourning  as  paupers  and  strangers  wherever 
they  could  find  a  place  of  retreat,  and  strictly  abstaining  from 
preaching  and  hearing  confessions,  except  when  ordered  to  do  so 
by  bishops  to  whom  they  owed  obedience.  Even  before  the  resig- 
nation of  Celestin,  the  Franciscan  authorities,  irritated  at  the  es- 
cape of  their  victims,  disregarded  the  papal  authority  and  endeav- 
ored with  an  armed  force  to  capture  them.  Celestin  himself 
seems  to  have  given  them  warning  of  this,  and  the  zealots,  recog- 
nizing that  there  was  no  peace  for  them  in  Italy,  resolved  to  ex- 
patriate themselves  and  seek  some  remote  spot  where  they  could 
gratify  their  ascetic  longings  and  worship  God  without  human 


*  Raynald.  aim.  1297,  No.  oo.— Jordani  Chron.  cap.  236,  Partic.  3  (Muratori, 
Antiq   XL  766). 

So  far  was  Pierre  Jean  Olivi  from  participating  in  these  rebellious  movements 
that  be  wrote  a  tract  to  prove  the  legality  of  Celestin's  abdication  and  Boniface's 
succession  (Franz  Ehrle,  Archiv  f.  L.  u.  K.  1887,  p.  525). 


PERSECUTED    BY    THE    INQUISITION.  39 

interference.  They  crossed  the  Adriatic  and  settled  on  a  desert 
island  off  the  Achaian  coast.  Here,  lost  to  view,  they  for  two  years 
enjoyed  the  only  period  of  peace  in  their  agitated  lives ;  but  at 
length  news  of  their  place  of  retreat  reached  home,  and  forthwith 
letters  were  despatched  to  the  nobles  and  bishops  of  the  mainland 
accusing  them  of  being  Cathari,  while  Boniface  was  informed  that 
they  did  not  regard  him  as  pope,  but  held  themselves  to  be  the 
only  true  Church.  In  1299  he  commissioned  Peter,  Patriarch  of 
Constantinople,  to  try  them,  when  they  were  condemned  without 
a  hearing,  and  he  ordered  Charles  II.  of  Naples,  who  was  overlord 
of  the  Morea,  to  have  them  expelled,  an  order  which  Charles  trans- 
mitted to  Isabelle  de  Villehardouin,  Princess  of  Achaia.  Mean- 
while the  local  authorities  had  recognized  the  falsity  of  the  accu- 
sations, for  the  refugees  celebrated  mass  daily  and  prayed  for 
Boniface  as  pope,  and  were  willing  to  eat  meat,  but  this  did  not 
relieve  them  from  surveillance  and  annoyance,  one  of  their  princi- 
pal persecutors  being  a  certain  Geronimo,  who  came  to  them  with 
some  books  of  Olivi's,  and  whom  they  were  forced  to  eject  for  im- 
morality, after  which  he  turned  accuser  and  was  rewarded  with 
the  episcopate.* 

The  pressure  became  too  strong,  and  the  little  community  grad- 
ually broke  up.  An  intention  to  accompany  Fra  Giovanni  da 
Monte  on  a  mission  to  Tartary  had  to  be  abandoned  on  account  of 
the  excommunication  consequent  upon  the  sentence  uttered  by 
the  Patriarch  of  Constantinople.  Liberato  sent  two  brethren  to 
appeal  to  Boniface,  and  then  two  more,  but  they  were  all  seized 
and  prevented  from  reaching  him.  Then  Liberato  himself  de- 
parted secretly  and  reached  Perugia,  but  the  sudden  death  of 
Boniface  (October  11, 1303)  frustrated  his  object.  The  rest  re- 
turned at  various  times,  Angelo  being  the  last  to  reach  Italy,  in 
1305.  He  found  his  brethren  in  evil  plight.  They  had  been  cited 
by  the  Dominican  inquisitor,  Tommaso  di  A  versa,  and  had  obedient- 
ly presented  themselves.  At  first  the  result  was  favorable.  After 
an  examination  lasting  several  days,  Tommaso  pronounced  them 


*  Angel.  Clarin.  Epist.  (Archivfur  Litt.-  u.  Kirchengeschichte,  1885,  pp.  522-3, 
527-9) .—Hist.  Tribulat.  (Ibid.  1886,  pp.  314-18).— Franz  Ehrle  (Ibid.  1886,  p.  335. 

Franz  Ehrle  identifies  the  refuge  of  the  Spirituals  with  the  island  of  Trixonia 
in  the  Gulf  of  Corinth  (Ibid.  1886,  pp.  313-14). 


4ii  THE    SPIRITUAL   FRANCISCANS. 

orthodox,  and  dismissed  them,  saying  publicly,  "  Fra  Liberato,  I 
swear  by  Him  who  created  me  that  never  the  flesh  of  a  poor  man 
could  be  sold  for  such  a  price  as  I  could  get  for  yours.  Your 
brethren  would  drink  your  blood  if  they  could."  He  even  con- 
ducted them  in  safety  back  to  their  hermitages,  and  when  the  rage 
of  the  Conventuals  was  found  to  be  unappeasable  he  gave  them 
the  advice  that  they  should  leave  the  kingdom  of  Xaples  that  night 
and  travel  by  hidden  ways  to  the  pope  ;  if  they  could  bring  letters 
from  the  latter,  or  from  a  cardinal,  he  would  defend  them  as  long 
as  he  held  the  office.  The  advice  was  taken  ;  Liberato  left  Xaples 
that  night,  but  fell  sick  on  the  road  and  died  after  a  lingering  ill- 
ness of  two  years.  Meanwhile,  as  we  shall  see  hereafter,  the  ex- 
ploits of  Dolcino  in  Lombardy  were  exciting  general  terror,  which 
rendered  all  irregular  fraternities  the  object  of  suspicion  and  dread. 
The  Conventuals  took  advantage  of  this  and  incited  Fra  Tommaso 
to  summon  before  him  all  who  wore  unauthorized  religious  habits. 
The  Spirituals  were  cited  again,  to  the  number  of  forty-two.  and 
this  time  they  did  not  escape  so  easily.  They  were  condemned  as 
heretics,  and  when  Andrea  da  Segna.  under  whose  protection  they 
had  lived,  interposed  in  their  favor,  Tommaso  carried  them  to  Tri- 
vento.  where  they  were  tortured  for  five  days.  This  excited  the 
compassion  of  the  bishop  and  nobles  of  the  town,  so  they  were 
transferred  to  Castro  Mainardo,  a  solitary  spot,  where  for  five 
months  they  were  afflicted  with  the  sharpest  torments.  Two  of 
the  vouno-er  brethren  yielded  and  accused  themselves  and  their 
comrades,  but  revoked  when  released.  Some  of  them  died,  and 
finall v  the  survivors  were  ordered  to  be  scourged  naked  through 
the  streets  of  Naples  and  were  banished  the  kingdom,  although 
no  specific  heresy  was  alleged  against  them  in  the  sentence. 
Through  all  this  the  resolution  of  the  little  band  never  faltered. 
Convinced  that  they  alone  were  on  the  path  of  salvation,  they 
would  not  be  forced  back  into  the  Order.  On  the  death  of  Liber- 
ato. Angelo  was  chosen  as  their  leader,  and  amid  persecution  and 
obloquy  they  formed  a  congregation  in  the  Mark  of  Ancona, 
known  as  the  Clareni.  from  the  surname  of  their  chief,  and  under 
the  protection  of  the  cardinal,  Xapoleone  OrsinL* 


*  Angel.  Clarin.  Epist.  (op.  cit.  1885,  529-31).— Hist.  Tribulat.  (lb.  1886,  320- 
6).— Wadding,  ann.  1302,  No.  8;  1307,  No.  2-±. 


JACOPONE   DA   TODI.  41 

This  group  had  not  been  by  any  means  alone  in  opposing  the 
laxity  of  the  Conventuals,  although  it  was  the  only  one  which  suc- 
ceeded in  throwing  off  the  yoke  of  its  opponents.  The  Spirituals 
were  numerous  in  the  Order,  but  the  policy  of  Boniface  VIII.  led 
him  to  support  the  efforts  of  the  Conventuals  to  keep  them  in  sub- 
jection. Jacopone  da  Todi,  the  author  of  the  Stabat  Mater,  was 
perhaps  the  most  prominent  of  these,  and  his  savage  verses  directed 
against  the  pope  did  not  tend  to  harmonize  the  troubles.  After 
the  capture  of  Palestrina,  in  1298,  Boniface  threw  him  into  a  foul 
dungeon,  where  he  solaced  his  captivity  with  canticles  full  of  the 
mystic  ardor  of  divine  love.  It  is  related  that  Boniface  once,  pass- 
ing the  grating  of  his  cell,  jeeringly  called  to  him,  "  Jacopo,  when 
will  you  get  out  V  and  was  promptly  answered,  "  When  you  come 
in."  In  a  sense  the  prophecy  proved  true,  for  one  of  the  first  acts 
of  Benedict  XI.,  in  December,  1303,  was  to  release  Jacopone  from 
both  prison  and  excommunication.* 

Fra  Corrado  da  Offida  was  another  prominent  member  of  the 
Spiritual  group.  He  had  been  a  friend  of  John  of  Parma ;  for  fifty- 
five  years  he  wore  but  a  single  gown,  patched  and  repatched  as 
necessity  required,  and  this  with  his  rope  girdle  constituted  his 
sole  worldly  possessions.  In  the  mystic  exaltation  which  charac- 
terized the  sect  he  had  frequent  visions  and  ecstasies,  in  which  he 
was  lifted  from  the  ground  after  the  fashion  of  the  saints.  When 
Liberato  and  his  companions  were  in  their  Achaian  refuge  he 
designed  joining  them  with  Jacopo  de'  Monti  and  others,  but  the 
execution  of  the  project  was  in  some  way  prevented. f 


*  Cantu,  Eretici  d'  Italia,  1. 129.— Comba,  La  Riforma  in  Italia,  I.  314. 

A  specimen  of  Jacopone's  attacks  on  Boniface  will  show  the  temper  of  the 

times — 

"Ponesti  la  tua  lingua  O  pessiina  avarizia 

Contra  religione  Sete  induplicata, 

A  dir  blasfemia  Bever  tanta  pecunia 

Senza  niun  cagione.  E  non  esser  saziata !" 

(Comba,  op.  cit.  312.) 

There  is  doubtless  foundation  for  the  story  related  by  Savonarola  in  a  sermon, 
that  Jacopone  was  once  brought  into  the  consistory  of  cardinals  and  requested  to 
preach,  when  he  solemnly  repeated  thrice,  "I  wonder  that  in  consequence  of 
your  sins  the  earth  does  not  open  and  swallow  you."— Villari,  Fra  Savonarola, 
II.  Ed.  T.  II.  p.  3. 

t  Hist.  Tribulat.  (loc.  cit.  pp.  311-13). 


42  THE    SPIRITUAL   FRANCISCANS. 

Such  men,  filled  with  the  profoundest  conviction  of  their  holy 
calling,  were  not  to  be  controlled  by  either  kindness  or  severity. 
It  was  in  vain  that  the  general,  Giovanni  di  Murro,  at  the  chapter 
of  1302,  held  in  Genoa,  issued  a  precept  deploring  the  abandonment, 
by  the  Order,  of  holy  poverty,  as  shown  by  the  possession  of  lands 
and  farms  and  vineyards,  and  the  assumption  by  friars  of  duties 
which  involved  them  in  worldly  cares  and  strife  and  litigation. 
He  ordered  the  sale  of  all  property,  and  forbade  the  members  of 
the  Order  from  appearing  in  any  court.  Yet  while  he  was  thus 
rigid  as  to  the  ownership  of  property,  he  was  lax  as  to  its  use,  and 
condemned  as  pernicious  the  doctrine  that  the  vow  of  poverty  in- 
volved restriction  in  its  enjoyment.  He  was,  moreover,  resolved  on 
extinguishing  the  schism  in  the  Order,  and  his  influence  with  Boni- 
face  was  one  of  the  impelling  causes  of  the  continued  persecution 
of  the  Spirituals.  They  stubbornly  rejected  all  attempts  at  recon- 
ciliation, and  placed  a  true  estimate  on  these  efforts  of  reform. 
Before  the  year  was  out  Giovanni  was  created  Cardinal  Bishop  of 
Porto,  and  was  allowed  to  govern  the  Order  through  a  vicar ;  the 
reforms  were  partially  enforced  in  some  provinces  for  a  short  time ; 
then  they  fell  into  desuetude,  and  matters  went  on  as  before.* 

In  France,  where  the  influence  of  Joachim  and  the  Everlasting 
Gospel  was  much  more  lasting  and  pronounced  than  in  Italy,  the 
career  of  the  Spirituals  revolves  around  one  of  the  most  remark- 
able personages  of  the  period — Pierre  Jean  Olivi.  Born  in  1247, 
he  was  placed  in  the  Franciscan  Order  at  the  age  of  twelve,  and 
was  trained  in  the  University  of  Paris,  where  he  obtained  the 
baccalaureate.  His  grave  demeanor,  seasoned  with  a  lively  wit,  his 
irreproachable  morals,  his  fervid  eloquence,  and  the  extent  of  his 
learning  won  for  him  universal  respect,  while  his  piety,  gentleness, 
humility,  and  zeal  for  holy  poverty  gained  for  him  a  reputation 
for  sanctity  which  assigned  to  him  the  gift  of  prophecy.  That 
such  a  man  should  attach  himself  to  the  Spirituals  was  a  matter  of 
course,  and  equally  so  was  the  enmity  which  he  excited  by  un- 
sparing reproof  of  the  laxity  of  observance  into  which  the  Order 
had  declined.    In  his  voluminous  writings  he  taught  that  absolute 


*  Wadding,  aim.  1302,  No.  1-3, 7 ;  ann.  1310,  No.  9—  Franz  Ehrle  (Arcbiv  fiLr 
Litt.-  U.K.  1886, p.  385). 


PIERRE    JEAN    OLIVI.  43 

poverty  is  the  source  of  all  the  virtues  and  of  a  saintly  life ;  that 
the  Rule  prohibited  all  proprietorship,  whether  individual  or  in  com- 
mon, and  that  the  vow  bound  the  members  to  the  most  sparing  use 
of  all  necessaries,  the  meanest  garments,  the  absence  of  shoes,  etc., 
while  the  pope  had  no  power  to  dispense  or  absolve,  and  much  less 
to  order  anything  contrary  to  the  Rule.  The  convent  of  Beziers, 
to  which  he  belonged,  became  the  centre  of  the  Spiritual  sect,  and 
the  devotion  which  he  excited  was  shared  by  the  population  at 
large,  as  well  as  by  his  brethren.  The  temper  of  the  man  was 
shown  when  he  underwent  his  first  rebuke.  In  1278  some  writings 
of  his  in  praise  of  the  Virgin  were  considered  to  trench  too  close- 
ly on  Mariolatry.  The  Order  had  not  yet  committed  itself  to 
this,  and  complaint  was  made  to  the  general,  Geronimo  d'Ascoli, 
afterwards  Nicholas  IV.,  who  read  the  tracts  and  condemned  him 
to  burn  them  with  his  own  hands.  Olivi  at  once  obeyed  without 
any  sign  of  perturbation,  and  when  his  wondering  brethren  asked 
how  he  could  endure  such  mortification  so  tranquilly,  he  replied 
that  he  had  performed  the  sacrifice  with  a  thoroughly  placid  mind ; 
he  had  not  felt  more  pleasure  in  writing  the  tracts  than  in  burn- 
ing them  at  the  command  of  his  superior,  and  the  loss  was  noth- 
ing, for  if  necessary  he  could  easily  write  them  again  in  better 
shape.  A  man  so  self-centred  and  imperturbable  could  not  fail  to 
impress  his  convictions  on  those  who  surrounded  him.* 

What  his  convictions  really  were  is  a  problem  not  easily  solved 
at  the  present  day.  The  fierce  antagonisms  which  he  excited  by 
his  fiery  onslaughts  on  individuals  as  well  as  on  the  general  laxity 
of  the  Order  at  large,  caused  his  later  years  to  be  passed  in  a  series 
of  investigations  for  heresy.  At  the  general  chapter  of  Strass- 
burg,  in  1282,  his  writings  were  ordered  to  be  examined.  In  1283 
Bonagrazia  di  S.  Giovanni,  the  general,  came  to  France,  collected 
and  placed  them  all  in  the  hands  of  seven  of  the  leading  members  of 
the  Order,  who  found  in  them  propositions  which  they  variously 


*  Wadding,  aim.  1278,  No.  27-8.— Franz  Ehrle,  Archiv  f.  L.  u.  K.  1887,  pp. 
505-11,  528-9. 

When  Geronimo  d'Ascoli  attained  the  papacy  he  was  urged  to  prosecute  Olivi, 
but  refused,  expressing  the  highest  consideration  for  his  talents  and  piety,  and 
declaring  that  his  rebuke  had  been  merely  intended  as  a  warning  (Hist.  Trib. 
loc.  cit.  1886,  p.  289). 


44  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

characterized  as  false,  heretical,  presumptuous,  and  dangerous,  and 
ordered  the  tracts  containing  them  to  be  surrendered  by  all  pos- 
sessing them.  Olivi  subscribed  to  the  judgment  in  1284,  although 
he  complained  that  he  had  not  been  permitted  to  appear  in  person 
before  his  judges  and  explain  the  censured  passages,  to  which 
distorted  meanings  had  been  applied.  With  some  difficulty  he 
procured  copies  of  his  inculpated  writings  and  proceeded  to  justi- 
fy himself.  Still  the  circle  of  his  disciples  continued  to  increase ; 
incapable  of  the  self-restraint  of  their  master,  and  secretly  imbued 
with  Joachitic  doctrines,  they  were  not  content  with  the  quiet 
propagation  of  their  principles,  but  excited  tumults  and  seditions. 
Olivi  was  held  responsible.  The  chapter  held  at  Milan  in  1285 
elected  as  general  minister  Arlotto  di  Prato,  one  of  the  seven  who 
had  condemned  him,  and  issued  a  decree  ordering  a  strict  perqui- 
sition and  seizure  of  his  writings.  The  new  general,  moreover, 
summoned  him  to  Paris  for  another  inquisition  into  his  faith, 
of  which  the  promoters  were  two  of  the  members  of  the  previous 
commission,  Eichard  Middleton  and  Giovanni  di  Murro,  the  future 
general.  The  matter  was  prolonged  until  1286,  when  Arlotto 
died,  and  nothing  was  done.  Matteo  d'Acquasparta  vouched  for 
his  orthodoxy  in  appointing  him  teacher  in  the  general  school  of 
the  Order  at  Florence.  Eaymond  Gaufridi,  who  succeeded  Matteo 
d'Acquasparta  in  1290,  was  a  friend  and  admirer  of  Olivi,  but  could 
not  prevent  fresh  proceedings,  though  he  appointed  him  teacher 
at  Montpellier.  Excitement  in  Languedoc  had  reached  a  point 
which  led  Nicholas  IV.,  in  1290,  to  order  Eaymond  to  suppress 
the  disturbers  of  the  peace.  He  commissioned  Bertrand  de  Cigo- 
tier,  Inquisitor  of  the  Comtat  Yenaissin,  to  investigate  and  report, 
in  order  that  the  matter  might  be  brought  before  the  next  gen- 
eral chapter,  to  be  held  in  Paris.  In  1292,  accordingly,  Olivi  ap- 
peared before  the  chapter,  professed  his  acceptance  of  the  bull 
Exiit  qui  se?ninat,  asserted  that  he  had  never  intentionally  taught 
or  written  otherwise,  and  revoked  and  abjured  anything  that  he 
might  inadvertently  have  said  in  contradiction  of  it.  He  was  dis- 
missed in  peace,  but  twenty-nine  of  his  zealous  and  headstrong 
followers,  whom  Bertrand  de  Cigotier  had  found  guilty,  were  duly 
punished.  His  few  remaining  years  seem  to  have  passed  in  com- 
parative peace.  Two  letters  written  in  1295,  one  to  Corrado  da 
Offida  and  the  other  to  the  sons  of  Charles  II.  of  Xaples,  then 


PIERRE    JEAN    OLIVI.  45 

held  as  hostages  in  Catalonia,  who  had  asked  him  to  visit  them, 
show  that  he  was  held  in  high  esteem,  that  he  desired  to  curb  the 
fanatic  zeal  of  the  more  advanced  Spirituals,  and  that  he  could  not 
restrain  himself  from  apocalyptic  speculation.  On  his  deathbed, 
in  1298,  he  uttered  a  confession  of  faith  in  which  he  professed  abso- 
lute submission  to  the  Roman  Church  and  to  Boniface  as  its  head. 
He  also  submitted  all  his  works  to  the  Holy  See,  and  made  a 
declaration  of  principles  as  to  the  matters  in  dispute  within  the 
Order,  which  contained  nothing  that  Bonaventura  would  not  have 
signed,  or  Nicholas  III.  would  have  impugned  as  contrary  to  the 
bull  Exiit,  although  it  sharply  rebuked  the  money -getting  prac- 
tices and  relaxation  of  the  Order. * 

He  was  honorably  buried  at  Narbonne,  and  then  the  contro- 
versy over  his  memory  became  more  lively  than  ever,  rendering  it 
almost  impossible  to  determine  his  responsibility  for  the  opinions , 
which  were  ascribed  to  him  by  both  friends  and  foes.  That  his 
bones  became  the  object  of  assiduous  cult,  in  spite  of  repeated 
prohibitions,  that  innumerable  miracles  were  worked  at  his  tomb, 
that  crowds  of  pilgrims  flocked  to  it,  that  his  feast-day  became  one 
of  the  great  solemnities  of  the  year,  and  that  he  was  regarded  as 
one  of  the  most  efficient  saints  in  the  calendar,  only  shows  the 
popular  estimate  of  his  virtues  and  the  zeal  of  those  who  regarded 


*  Wadding,  ann.  1282,  No.  2  ;  ann.  1283,  No.  1 ;  arm.  1285,  No.  5  ;  arm.  1290, 
No.  11 ;  ann.  1292,  No.  13  ;  ann.  1297,  No.  33-4.— Chron.  Glassberger  ann.  1283.— 
Hist.  Tribulat.  (loc.  cit.  pp.  294-5).— Franz Ehrle,  Archiv,  1886,  pp.  383, 389 ;  1887, 
pp.  417-27,429,433,438,  534.— Raym.  de  Fronciacho  (Archiv,  1887,  p.  15). 

Olivi's  death  is  commonly  assigned  to  1297,  but  the  Transitus  Sancti  Patris, 
which  was  one  of  the  books  most  in  vogue  among  his  disciples,  states  that  it 
occurred  on  Friday,  March  14,  1297  (Bernard.  Guidon.  Practica  P.  v.);  Friday 
fell  on  March  14  in  1298,  and  the  common  habit  of  commencing  the  year  with 
Easter  explains  the  substitution  of  1297  for  1298. 

His  bones  are  generally  said  to  have  been  dug  up  and  burned  a  few  months 
after  interment,  by  order  of  the  general,  Giovanni  di  Murro  (Tocco,  op.  cit.  p. 
503).  Wadding,  indeed,  asserts  that  they  were  twice  exhumed  (ann.  1297,  No. 
36).  Eymerich  mentions  a  tradition  that  they  were  carried  to  Avignon  and  thrown 
by  night  into  the  Rhone  (Eymerici  Direct.  Inquis.  p.  313).  The  cult  of  which 
they  were  the  object  shows  that  this  could  not  have  been  the  case,  and  Bernard 
Gui,  the  best  possible  authority,  in  commenting  on  the  Transitus  states  that 
they  were  abstracted  in  1318  and  hidden  no  one  knows  where— doubtless  by  dis- 
ciples to  prevent  the  impending  profanation  of  exhumation. 


46  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

themselves  as  his  disciples.  Certain  it  is  that  the  Council  of  Yienne, 
in  1312,  treated  his  memory  with  great  gentleness.  While  it  con- 
demned with  merciless  severity  the  mystic  extravagances  of  the 
Brethren  of  the  Free  Spirit,  it  found  only  four  errors  to  note  in 
the  voluminous  writings  of  Olivi — errors  of  merely  speculative  in- 
terest, such  as  are  frequent  among  the  schoolmen  of  the  period — 
and  these  it  pointed  out  without  attributing  them  to  him  or  even 
mentioning:  his  name.  These  his  immediate  followers  denied  his 
holding,  although  eventually  one  of  them,  curiously  enough,  be- 
came a  sort  of  shibboleth  among  the  Olivists.  It  was  that  Christ 
was  still  alive  on  the  cross  when  pierced  by  the  lance,  and  was 
based  on  the  assertion  that  the  relation  in  Matthew  originally  dif- 
fered in  this  respect  from  that  in  John,  and  had  been  altered  to 
secure  harmony.  All  other  questions  relating  to  the  teachings  of 
Olivi  the  council  referred  to  the  Franciscans  for  settlement,  show- 
ing that  they  were  deemed  of  minor  importance,  after  they  had 
been  exhaustively  debated  before  it  by  Bonagrazia  da  Bergamo  in 
attack  and  Ubertino  da  Casale  in  defence.  Thus  the  council  con- 
demned neither  his  person  nor  his  writings ;  that  the  result  was 
held  as  vindicating  his  orthodoxy  was  seen  when,  in  1313,  his  feast- 
day  was  celebrated  with  unexampled  enthusiasm  at  aSarbonne,  and 
was  attended  by  a  concourse  equal  to  that  which  assembled  at  the 
anniversary  of  the  Portiuncula.  Moreover,  after  the  heat  of  the 
controversy  had  passed  away,  the  subsequent  condemnation  of  his 
writings  by  John  XXII.  was  removed  by  Sixtus  IV.,  towards  the 
end  of  the  fifteenth  century.  Olivi's  teachings  may  therefore  fairly 
be  concluded  to  have  contained  no  very  revolutionary  doctrines. 
In  fact,  shortly  after  his  death  all  the  Franciscans  of  Provence 
were  required  to  sign  an  abjuration  of  his  errors,  among  which 
was  enumerated  the  one  respecting  the  wound  of  Christ,  but  noth- 
ing was  said  respecting  the  graver  aberrations  subsequently  at- 
tributed to  him.* 

*  Wadding,  ann.  1291,  No.  13;  1297,  No.  35;  1312,  No.  4.— Lib.  Sententt. 
Inq.  Tolos.  pp.  306,  319.— Coll.  Doat.  XXVII.  fol.  7  sqq.-Lib.  i.  Clement,  i.  1.— 
Tocco,  op.  cit.  pp.  509-10.— MSS.  Bib.  Nat.  No.  4270,  fol.  168.— Franz  Ehrle 
(ubi  sup.  1885,  p.  544  ;  1886,  pp.  389-98,  402-5 ;  1887,  pp.  449.  491).— Raymond  de 
Fronciacho  (Archiv,  18S7,  p.  17). 

The  traditional  wrath  of  the  Conventuals  was  still  strong  enough  in  the  year 
1500  to  lead  the  general  chapter  held  at  Terni  to  forbid,  under  pain  of  imprison- 


OLIVI'S    WORKS    CONDEMNED.  47 

On  the  other  hand  he  was  unquestionably  the  heresiarch  of  the 
Spirituals,  both  of  France  and  Italy,  regarded  by  them  as  the  di- 
lect  successor  of  Joachim  and  Francis.  The  Historia  Tribidationum 
finds  in  the  pseud o-Joachitic  prophecies  a  clear  account  of  all  the 
events  in  his  career.  Enthusiastic  Spirituals,  who  held  the  revolu- 
tionary doctrines  of  the  Everlasting  Gospel,  testified  before  the 
Inquisition  that  the  third  age  of  the  Church  had  its  beginning  in 
Olivi,  who  thus  supplanted  St.  Francis  himself.  He  was  inspired 
of  heaven ;  his  doctrine  had  been  revealed  to  him  in  Paris,  some 
said,  while  he  was  washing  his  hands  ;  others  that  the  illumination 
came  to  him  from  Christ  while  in  church,  at  the  third  hour  of 
the  day.  Thus  his  utterances  were  of  equal  authority  with  those 
of  St.  Paul,  and  were  to  be  obeyed  by  the  Church  without  the 
change  of  a  letter.  It  is  no  wonder  that  he  was  held  account- 
able for  the  extravagances  of  those  who  regarded  him  with  such 
veneration  and  recognized  him  as  their  leader  and  teacher.* 

When  Olivi  died,  his  former  prosecutor,  Giovanni  di  Murro, 
was  general  of  the  Order,  and,  strong  as  were  his  own  ascetic 
convictions,  he  lost  no  time  in  completing  the  work  which  he  had 
previously  failed  to  accomplish.  Olivi's  memory  was  condemned 
as  that  of  a  heretic,  and  an  order  was  issued  for  the  surrender 
of  all  his  writings,  which  was  enforced  with  unsparing  rigor,  and 
continued  by  his  successor,  Gonsalvo  de  Balboa.  Pons  Botugati, 
a  friar  eminent  for  piety  and  eloquence,  refused  to  surrender  for 
burning  some  of  the  prohibited  tracts,  and  was  chained  closely  to 
the  wall  in  a  damp  and  fetid  dungeon,  where  bread  and  water 
were  sparingly  flung  to  him,  and  where  he  soon  rotted  to  death 
in  filth,  so  that  when  his  body  was  hastily  thrust  into  an  uncon- 
secrated  grave  it  was  found  that  already  the  flesh  was  burrowed 
through  by  worms.  A  number  of  other  recalcitrants  were  also 
imprisoned  with  almost  equal  harshness,  and  in  the  next  general 
chapter  the  reading  of  all  of  Olivi's  works  was  formally  prohibited. 
That  much  iucendiary  matter  was  in  circulation,  attributed  direct- 
ly or  indirectly  to  him,  is  shown  by  a  catalogue  of  Olivist  tracts, 
treating  of  such  dangerous  questions  as  the  power  of  the  pope  to 

ment,  any  member  of  the  Order  from  possessing  any  of  Olivi's  writings. — Franz 
Ehrle  (ubi  sup.  1887,  pp.  457-8). 

*  Hist.  Tribulat.  (loc.  cit.  pt    S88-9).— Coll.  Doat,  XXVII.  fol.  7  sqq.— Lib. 
Sententt.  Inq.  Tolos.  pp.  306,  308. — Bernard.  Guidon.  Practica  P.  T. 


48  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

dispense  from  vows,  his  right  to  claim  implicit  obedience  in  mat- 
ters concerning  faith  and  morals,  and  other  similar  mutterings  of 

rebellion.* 

The  work  of  Olivi  which  called  forth  the  greatest  discussion, 
and  as  to  which  the  evidences  are  peculiarly  irreconcilable,  was 
his  Postil  on  the  Apocalypse.     It  was  from  this  that  the  chief 
arguments  were  drawn  for  his  condemnation.     In  an  inquisitorial 
sentence  of  1318  we  learn  that  his  writings  were  then  again  under 
examination  by  order  of  John  XXII. ;  that  they  were  held  to  be 
the  source  of  all  the  errors  which  the  sectaries  were  then  expiating 
at  the  stake,  and  that  principal  among  them  was  his  work  on  the 
Apocalypse,  so  that,  until  the  papal  decision,  no  one  was  to  hold 
him  as  a  saint  or  a  Catholic.     When  the  condemnatory  report  of 
eight  masters  of  theology  came,  in  131(J,  the  Spirituals  held  that 
the  outrage  thus  committed  on  the  faith  deprived  of  all  virtue  the 
sacrament  of  the  altar.     Xo  formal  judgment  was  rendered,  how- 
ever, until  February  8,  1326,  when  John  XXII.  finally  condemned 
the  Postil  on  the  Apocalypse  after  a  careful  scrutiny  in  the  Con- 
sistory, and  the  general  chapter  of  the  Order  forbade  any  one  to 
read  or  possess  it.     One  of  the  reports  of  the  experts  upon  it  has 
reached  us.     It  is  impossible  to  suppose  that  they  deliberately 
manufactured  the  extracts  on  which  their  conclusions  are  based, 
and  these  extracts  are  quite  sufficient  to  show  that  the  work  was 
an  echo  of  the  most  dangerous  doctrines  of  the  Everlasting  Gos- 
pel.    The  fifth  age  is  drawing  to  an  end,  and,  under  the  figure  of 
the  mystical  Antichrist,  there  are  prophecies  about  the  pseudo-pope, 
pseudo-Christs,  and  pseudo-prophets  in  terms  which  clearly  allude 
to  the  existing  hierarchy.    The  pseudo-pope  will  be  known  by  his 
heresies  concerning  the  perfection  of  evangelical  poverty  (as  we 
shall  see  was  the  case  with  John  XXII. ),  and  the  pseudo-Joachim's 
prophecies  concerning  Frederic  II.  are  quoted  to  show  how  prel- 
ates and  clergy  who  defend  the  Rule  will  be  ejected.     The  carnal 
church  is  the  Great  AYhore  of  Babylon ;  it  makes  drunken  and 

*  Hist.  Tribulat.  (loc.  cit.  pp.  300-1).— Tocco,  pp.  489-91,  503-4. 

Wadding  (arm.  1297,  No.  33-5)  identifies  Pons  Botugati  with  St.  Pons  Car- 
bonelh,  the  illustrious  teacher  of  St.  Louis  of  Toulouse.  Franz  Ehrle  (Archiv 
fur  L.  u.  K.  1886,  p.  300)  says  he  can  find  no  evidence  of  this,  and  the  author 
of  the  Hist.  Tribulat.,  in  his  detailed  account  of  the  affair,  would  hardly  have 
omitted  a  fact  so  serviceable  to  his  cause. 


OPINIONS    ATTRIBUTED    TO    OLIVI.  49 

corrupts  the  nations  with  its  carnalities,  and  oppresses  the  few 
remaining  righteous,  as  under  Paganism  it  did  with  its  idolatries. 
In  forty  generations  from  the  harvest  of  the  apostles  there  will 
be  a  new  harvest  of  the  Jews  and  of  the  whole  world,  to  be  gar- 
nered by  the  Evangelical  Order,  to  which  all  power  and  authority 
will  be  transferred.  There  are  to  be  a  sixth  and  a  seventh  a^e, 
after  which  comes  the  Day  of  Judgment.  The  date  of  this  latter 
cannot  be  computed,  but  at  the  end  of  the  thirteenth  century  the 
sixth  age  is  to  open.  The  carnal  church,  or  Babylon,  will  expire, 
and  the  triumph  of  the  spiritual  church  will  commence.* 

It  has  been  customary  for  historians  to  assume  that  this  resur- 
rection of  the  Everlasting  Gospel  was  Olivi's  Work,  though  it  is 
evident  from  the  closing  years  of  his  career  that  he  could  not  have 
been  guilty  of  uttering  such  inflammatory  doctrines,  and  this  is 
confirmed  by  the  silence  of  the  Council  of  Yienne  concerning 
them,  although  it  condemned  his  other  trifling  errors  after  a  thor- 
ough debate  on  the  subject  by  his  enemies  and  friends.  In  fact, 
Bonagrazia,  in  the  name  of  the  Conventuals,  bitterly  attacked  his 
memory  and  adduced  a  long  list  of  his  errors,  including  cursorily 
certain  false  and  fantastic  prophecies  in  the  Postil  on  the  Apoca- 
lypse and  his  stigmatizing  the  Church  as  the  Great  Whore.  Had 
such  passages  as  the  above  existed  they  would  have  been  set  forth 
at  length  and  defence  would  have  been  impossible.  Ubertino  in 
reply,  however,  boldly  characterized  the  assertion  as  most  menda- 
cious and  impious ;  Olivi,  he  declared,  had  always  spoken  most 
reverently  of  the  Church  and  Holy  See ;  the  Postil  itself  closed 
with  a  submission  to  the  Roman  Church  as  the  universal  mistress, 
and  in  the  body  of  the  work  the  Holy  See  was  repeatedly  alluded 
to  as  the  seat  of  God  and  of  Christ ;  the  Church  Militant  and  the 
Church  Triumphant  are  spoken  of  as  the  seats  of  God  which  will 
last  to  the  end,  while  the  reprobate  are  Babylon  and  the  Great 
Whore.  It  is  impossible  that  Ubertino  can  have  quoted  these  pas- 
sages falsely,  for  Bonagrazia  would  have  readily  overwhelmed  him 
with  confusion,  and  the  Council  of  Yienne  would  have  rendered  a 
far  different  judgment.     We  know  from  undoubted  sources  that 

*  Baluz.  et  Mansi  II.  249-50.— Bern.  Guidon.  Pract.  P.  v.— Doat,  XXVII. 
fol.  7  sqq.— Bern.  Guidon.  Vit.  Johann.  PP.  XXII.  (Muratori  S.  R.  I.  III.  11 
491). — Wadding,  ann.  1325,  No.  4.— Alvar.  Pelag.  de  Planctu  Eccles.  Lib.  11.  art. 
59.— Baluz.  et  Mansi  II.  266-70. 
III.— 4 


50  THE    SPIRITUAL   FRANCISCANS. 

the  revolutionary  doctrines  commonly  attributed  to  Olivi  were 
entertained  by  those  who  considered  themselves  and  were  consid- 
ered to  be  his  disciples,  and  we  can  only  assume  that  in  their  mis- 
guided zeal  they  interpolated  his  Postil,  and  gave  to  their  own 
mystic  dreams  the  authority  of  his  great  name.* 

After  the  death  of  Olivi  the  Franciscan  officials  seem  to  have 
felt  themselves  unable  to  suppress  the  sect  which  was  spreading 
and  organizing  throughout  Languedoc.  For  some  reason  not  ap- 
parent, unless  it  may  have  been  jealousy  of  the  Dominicans,  the 
aid  of  the  Inquisition  was  not  called  in,  and  the  inquisitors  with- 
held their  hands  from  offenders  of  the  rival  Order.  The  regular 
church  authorities,  however,  were  appealed  to,  and  in  1299  Gilles, 
Archbishop  of  Xarbonne,  held  at  Beziers  a  provincial  synod,  in 
which  were  condemned  the  Beguines  of  both  sexes  who  under  the 
lead  of  learned  men  of  an  honorable  Order  (the  Franciscans)  en- 
gaged in  religious  exercises  not  prescribed  by  the  Church,  wore 
vestments  distinguishing  them  from  other  folk,  performed  novel 
penances  and  abstinences,  administered  vows  of  chastity,  often 
not  observed,  held  nocturnal  conventicles,  frequented  heretics,  and 
proclaimed  that  the  end  of  the  world  was  at  hand,  and  that  already 
the  reign  of  Antichrist  had  begun.  From  them  many  scandals 
had  already  arisen,  and  there  was  danger  of  more  and  greater 
troubles.  The  bishops  were  therefore  ordered,  in  their  several 
dioceses,  to  investigate  these  sectaries  closely  and  to  suppress  them. 
We  see  from  this  that  there  was  rapidly  growing  up  a  new  heresy 
based  upon  the  Everlasting  Gospel,  with  the  stricter  Franciscans 
as  a  nucleus,  but  extending  among  the  people.  For  this  popular 
propaganda  the  Tertiary  Order  afforded  peculiar  facilities,  and 
we  shall  find  hereafter  that  the  Beguines,  as  they  were  generally 
called,  were  to  a  great  extent  Tertiaries,  when  not  full  members 
of  the  Order.    There  was  nothing,  however,  to  tempt  the  cupidity 


*  Franz  Ehrle  (Archiv  f.  L.  u.  K.  1886,  pp.  368-70.  407-9)  —Wadding,  ann< 
1297,  No.  36-47.— Baluz.  et  Mansi  II.  276. 

Tocco  (Archivio  Storico  Italiano,  T.  XVII.  No.  2.— Cf.  Franz  Ehrle,  Archiv 
fur  L.  u.  K.  1887,  p.  493)  has  recently  found  in  the  Laurentian  Library  a  MS.  of 
Olivi's  Postil  on  the  Apocalypse.  It  contains  all  the  passages  cited  in  the  con- 
demnation, showing  that  the  commission  which  sat  in  judgment  did  not  invent 
them,  but  as  it  is  of  the  fifteenth  century  it  does  not  invalidate  the  suggestion 
that  his  followers  interpolated  his  work  after  his  death. 


RESULTS    OF    THE    THIRTEENTH    CENTURY.         51 

of  the  episcopal  officials  to  the  prosecution  of  those  whose  princi- 
pal belief  consisted  in  the  renunciation  of  all  worldly  goods,  and 
it  is  not  likely  that  they  showed  themselves  more  diligent  in  their 
duties  than  we  have  seen  them  when  greater  interests  were  at 
stake.  The  action  of  the  council  may  therefore  be  safely  assumed 
as  wasted,  except  as  justifying  persecution  within  the  Order.  The 
lay  Beguines  doubtless  enjoyed  practical  immunity,  while  the 
Spiritual  Friars  continued  to  endure  the  miseries  at  the  hands  of 
their  superiors  for  which  monastic  life  afforded  such  abundant 
opportunities.  Thus,  at  Villefranche,  when  Raymond  Auriole 
and  Jean  Prime  refused  to  admit  that  their  vows  permitted  a 
liberal  use  of  the  things  of  the  world,  they  were  imprisoned  in 
chains  and  starved  till  Raymond  died,  deprived  of  the  sacraments 
as  a  heretic,  and  Jean  barely  escaped  with  his  life.* 

Thus  passed  away  the  unfortunate  thirteenth  century — that 
age  of  lofty  aspirations  unfulfilled,  of  brilliant  dreams  unsubstan- 
tial as  visions,  of  hopes  ever  looking  to  fruition  and  ever  disap- 
pointed. The  human  intellect  had  awakened,  but  as  yet  the  hu- 
man conscience  slumbered,  save  in  a  few  rare  souls  who  mostly 
paid  in  disgrace  or  death  the  penalty  of  their  precocious  sensitive- 
ness. That  wonderful  century  passed  away  and  left  as  its  legacy 
to  its  successor  vast  progress,  indeed,  in  intellectual  activity,  but 
on  the  spiritual  side  of  the  inheritance  a  dreary  void.  All  efforts 
to  elevate  the  ideals  of  man  had  miserably  failed.  Society  was 
harder  and  coarser,  more  carnal  and  more  worldly  than  ever,  and 
it  is  not  too  much  to  say  that  the  Inquisition  had  done  its  full 
share  to  bring  this  about  by  punishing  aspirations,  and  by  teach- 
ing that  the  only  safety  lay  in  mechanical  conformity,  regardless 
of  abuses  and  unmindful  of  corruption.  The  results  of  that  hun- 
dred years  of  effort  and  suffering  are  well  symbolized  in  the  two 
popes  with  whom  it  began  and  ended — Innocent  III.  and  that 
pinchbeck  Innocent,  Boniface  VIII.,  who,  in  the  popular  phrase 
of  the  time,  came  in  like  a  fox,  ruled  like  a  lion,  and  died  like 
a  dog.  In  intellect  and  learning  Boniface  was  superior  to  his 
model,  in  imperious  pride  his  equal,  in  earnestness,  in  self-devo- 


*  Concil.   Biterrens.  ann.  1299  c.  4  (Martene  Thesaur.  IV.  220).— Ubertini 
Declaratio  (Archiv  f.  Litt.-  u.  K.  1887,  pp.  183-4). 


52  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

tion,  in  loftiness  of  aim,  in  all  that  dignifies  ambition,  immeasura- 
bly his  inferior.  It  is  no  wonder  that  the  apocalyptic  specula- 
tions of  Joachim  should  acquire  .fresh  hold  on  the  minds  of  those 
who  could  not  reconcile  the  spiritual  desert  in  which  they  lived 
with  their  conception  of  the  merciful  providence  of  God.  To  such 
men  it  seemed  impossible  that  he  could  permit  a  continuance  of 
the  cruel  wickedness  which  pervaded  the  Church,  and  through  it 
infected  society  at  large.  This  was  plainly  beyond  the  power  of 
a  few  earnest  zealots  to  cure,  or  even  to  mitigate,  so  the  divine 
interposition  was  requisite  to  create  a  new  earth,  inhabited  only 
bv  the  few  virtuous  Elect,  under  a  reign  of  ascetic  poverty  and 
all-embracing  love. 

One  of  the  most  energetic  and  impetuous  missionaries  of  these 
beliefs  was  Arnaldo  de  Yilanova,  in  some  respects,  perhaps,  the 
most  remarkable  man  of  his  time,  whom  we  have  onlv  of  late 
learned  to  know  thoroughly,  from  the  researches  of  Seilor  Pelayo. 
As  a  physician  he  stood  unrivalled.  Kings  and  popes  disputed 
his  services,  and  his  voluminous  writings  on  medicine  and  hygiene 
were  reprinted  m  collective  editions  six  times  during  the  sixteenth 
century,  besides  numerous  issues  of  special  treatises.  As  a  chem- 
ist he  is  more  doubtfully  said  to  have  left  his  mark  in  several 
useful  discoveries.  As  an  alchemist  he  had  the  repute  of  pro- 
ducing ingots  of  gold  in  the  court  of  Robert  of  Xaples,  a  great 
patron  of  the  science,  and  his  treatises  on  the  subject  were  in- 
cluded in  collections  of  such  works  printed  as  lately  as  the  eight- 
eenth century.  A  student  of  both  Arabic  and  Hebrew,  he  trans- 
lated from  Costa  ben  Luca  treatises  on  incantations,  ligatures,  and 
other  magic  devices.  He  wrote  on  astronomy  and  on  oneiro- 
mancy,  for  he  was  an  expert  expounder  of  dreams,  and  also  on 
surveying  and  wine-making.  He  draughted  laws  for  Frederic  of 
Trinacria  which  that  enlightened  monarch  promulgated  and  en- 
forced, and  his  advice  to  Frederic  and  his  brother  Jayme  II.  of 
Aragon  on  their  duties  as  monarchs  stamps  him  as  a  conscientious 
statesman.  AVhen  Jayme  applied  to  him  for  the  explanation  of  a 
mysterious  dream  he  not  only  satisfied  the  king  with  his  exposi- 
tion, but  proceeded  to  warn  him  that  his  chief  duty  lay  in  admin- 
istering justice,  first  to  the  poor,  and  then  to  the  rich.  When 
asked  how  often  he  gave  audience  to  the  poor,  Jayme  answered, 
once  a  week,  and  also  when  he  rode  out  for  pleasure.     Arnaldo 


ARNALDO    DE    VILANOVA.  53 

sternly  reproved  him;  he  was  earning  damnation;  the  rich  had 
access  to  him  every  day,  morning,  noon,  and  night,  the  poor  but 
seldom ;  he  made  of  God  the  hog  of  St.  Anthony,  which  received 
only  the  refuse  rejected  by  all.  If  he  wished  to  earn  salvation  he 
must  devote  himself  to  the  welfare  of  the  poor,  without  which,  in 
spite  of  the  teachings  of  the  Church,  neither  psalms,  nor  masses, 
nor  fasting,  nor  even  alms  would  suffice.  To  Jayme  he  was  not 
only  physician  but  counsellor,  venerable  and  much  beloved,  and 
he  was  repeatedly  employed  on  diplomatic  missions  by  the  kings 
of  both  Aragon  and  Sicily.* 

Multifarious  as  were  these  occupations,  they  consumed  but  a 
portion  of  his  restless  activity.  In  dedicating  to  Robert  of  Naples 
his  treatise  on  surveying,  he  describes  himself — 

"  Yeu,  Arnaut  de  Vilanova  .  .  . 
Doctor  en  leys  et  eu  decrets, 
Et  en  siensa  de  strolomia, 
Et  en  Tart  de  medicina, 
Et  en  la  santa  teulogia  " — 

and,  although  a  layman,  married,  and  a  father,  his  favorite  field  of 
labor  was  theology,  which  he  had  studied  with  the  Dominicans  of 
Montpellier.  In  1292  he  commenced  with  a  work  on  the  Tetra- 
grammaton,  or  ineffable  name  of  Jehovah,  in  which  he  sought  to 
explain  by  natural  reasons  the  mystery  of  the  Trinity.  Embarked 
in  such  speculations  he  soon  became  a  confirmed  Joachite.  To  a 
man  of  his  lofty  spiritual  tendencies  and  tender  compassion  for  his 
fellows,  the  wickedness  and  cruelty  of  mankind  were  appalling,  and 
especially  the  crimes  of  the  clergy,  among  whom  he  reckoned  the 
Mendicants  as  the  worst.  Their  vices  he  lashed  unsparingly,  and 
he  naturally  fell  in  with  the  speculations  of  the  pseudo-Joachitic 
writings,  anticipating  the  speedy  advent  of  Antichrist  and  the  Day 
of  Judgment.  In  numberless  works  composed  in  both  Latin  and 
the  vernacular  he  commented  upon  and  popularized  the  Joachitic 
books,  even  going  so  far  as  to  declare  that  the  revelation  of  Cyril 
was  more  precious  than  all  Scripture.  Such  a  man  naturally 
sympathized  with  the  persecuted  Spirituals.  He  boldly  undertook 
their  defence  in  sundry  tracts,  and  when,  in  1309,  Frederic  of  Tri- 


*  Pelayo,  Heterodoxos  Espanoles,  I.  450-61,  475,  590-1,  726-7,  772.— M.  Flac. 
Illyr.  Cat.  Test.  Veritatis,  pp.  1732  sqq.  (Ed.  1603). 


54  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

nacria  applied  to  him  to  expound  his  dream,he  seized  the  opportunity 
to  invoke  the  monarch's  commiseration  for  their  sufferings,  by  ex- 
plaining to  him  how,  when  they  sought  to  appeal  to  the  Holy  See, 
their  brethren  persecuted  and  slew  them,  and  how  evangelical  pov- 
erty was  treated  as  the  gravest  of  crimes.  He  used  his  influence 
similarly  at  the  court  of  jSTaples,  thus  providing  for  them,  as  we 
shall  see,  a  place  of  refuge  in  their  necessity.* 

With  his  impulsive  temperament  it  was  impossible  for  him  to 
hold  aloof  from  the  bitter  strife  then  raging.  Before  the  thir- 
teenth century  was  out  he  addressed  letters  to  the  Dominicans  and 
Franciscans  of  Paris  and  MontpeUier,  to  the  Kings  of  France  and 
Aragon,  and  even  to  the  Sacred  College,  announcing  the  approach- 
ing end  of  the  world ;  the  wicked  Catholics,  and  especially  the 
clergy,  were  the  members  of  the  coming  Antichrist.  This  aroused 
an  active  controversy,  in  which  neither  party  spared  the  other. 
After  a  war  of  tracts  the  Catalan  Dominicans  formally  accused 
him  before  the  Bishop  of  Girona,  and  he  responded  that  they  had 
no  standing  in  court,  as  they  were  heretics  and  madmen,  dogs  and 
jugglers,  and  he  cited  them  to  appear  before  the  pope  by  the  fol- 
lowing Lent.  It  could  only  have  been  the  royal  favor  which  pre- 
served him  from  the  fate  at  the  stake  of  many  a  less  audacious 
controversialist ;  and  when,  in  1300,  King  Jayme  sent  him  on  a  mis- 
sion to  Philippe  le  Bel,  he  boldly  laid  his  work  on  the  advent  of 
Antichrist  before  the  University  of  Paris.  The  theologians  looked 
askance  on  it,  and,  in  spite  of  his  ambassadorial  immunity,  on  the 
eve  of  his  return  he  was  arrested  without  warning  by  the  episco- 
pal Official.  The  Archbishop  of  Xarbonne  interposed  in  vain,  and 
he  was  bailed  out  on  security  of  three  thousand  livres,  furnished  by 
the  Yiscount  of  Xarbonne  and  other  friends.  Brought  before  the 
masters  of  theology,  he  was  forced  by  threats  of  imprisonment  to 
recant  upon  the  spot,  without  being  allowed  to  defend  himself, 
and  one  can  well  believe  his  statement  that  one  of  his  most  eaerer 
judges  was  a  Franciscan,  whose  zeal  was  doubtless  inflamed  by  the 
portentous  appearance  of  another  Olivi  from  the  prolific  South.f 

A  formal  appeal  to  Boniface  was  followed  by  a  personal  visit 


*  Pelayo,  I.  454,  458,  464-6,  468-9, 730-1,  779.— Franz  EUrle,  Archiv  fur  Litt.- 
und  Kirchengesclnchte,  1886,  327-8. 
t  Pelayo,  I.  460,  464-8,  739-45. 


ARNALDO   DE    VILANOVA.  55 

to  the  papal  court.  Received  at  first  with  jeers,  his  obstinacy  pro- 
voked repression.  As  a  relapsed,  he  might  have  been  burned,  but 
he  was  onty  imprisoned  and  forced  to  a  second  recantation,  in 
spite  of  which  Philippe  le  Bel,  at  the  assembly  of  the  Louvre  in 
1303,  in  his  charges  of  heresy  against  Boniface  asserted  that  the 
pope  had  approved  a  book  of  Arnaldo's  which  had  already  been 
burned  by  himself  and  by  the  University  of  Paris.  Boniface,  in 
fact,  in  releasing  him,  imposed  on  him  silence  on  theologic  matters, 
though  appreciating  his  medical  skill  and  appointing  him  papal 
physician.  For  a  Avhile  he  kept  his  peace,  but  a  call  from  heaven 
forced  him  to  renewed  activity,  and  he  solemnly  warned  Boniface 
of  the  divine  vengeance  if  he  remained  insensible  to  the  duty 
of  averting  the  wrath  to  come  by  a  thorough  reformation  of  the 
Church.  The  catastrophe  of  Anagni  soon  followed,  and  Arnaldo, 
who  had  left  the  papal  court,  naturally  regarded  it  as  a  confirma- 
tion of  his  prophecy,  and  looked  upon  himself  as  an  envoy  of  God. 
"With  a  fierce  denunciation  of  clerical  corruptions  he  repeated  the 
warning  to  Benedict  XL,  who  responded  by  imposing  a  penance 
on  him  and  seizing  all  his  apocalyptic  tracts.  In  about  a  month 
Benedict,  too,  was  dead,  and  Arnaldo  announced  that  a  third  mes- 
sage would  be  sent  to  his  successor,  "  though  when  and  by  whom 
has  not  been  revealed  to  me,  but  I  know  that  if  he  heeds  it  divine 
power  will  adorn  him  with  its  sublimest  gifts ;  if  he  rejects  it,  God 
will  visit  him  with  a  judgment  so  terrible  that  it  will  be  a  wonder 
to  all  the  earth."  * 

For  some  years  we  know  nothing  of  his  movements,  although 
his  fertile  pen  was  busily  employed  with  little  intermission,  and  the 
Church  vainly  endeavored  to  suppress  his  writings.  In  1305  Fray 
Guillermo,  Inquisitor  of  Valencia,  excommunicated  and  ejected 
from  church  Gambaldo  de  Pilis,  a  servant  of  King  Jayme,  for 
possessing  and  circulating  them.  The  king  applied  to  Guillermo 
for  his  reasons,  and,  on  being  refused,  angrily  wrote  to  Eymerich, 
the  Dominican  general.    He  declared  that  Arnaldo's  writings  were 

*  Pelayo,  I.  470-4,  729,  734.— D'Argentre  I.  11.  417.— Du  Puy,  Histoire  du 
Differend,  Pr.  103. 

One  of  the  charges  against  Bernard  DSlicieux,  in  1319,  was  that  of  sending  to 
Arnaldo  certain  magic  writings  to  encompass  the  death  of  Benedict  A  witness 
was  found  to  swear  that  this  was  the  cause  of  Benedict's  death. — MSS-  Bib.  Nat., 
fonds  latin,  No.  4270,  fol.  12,  50,  51,  61 


56  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

eagerlv  read  by  himself,  his  queen  and  his  children,  by  archbishops 
and  bishops,  by  the  clergy  and  the  laity.  He  demanded  that  the 
sentence  be  revoked  as  uncanonical,  else  he  would  punish  Fray 
Guillermo  severely  and  visit  with  his  displeasure  all  the  Domini- 
cans of  his  dominions.  It  was  probably  this  royal  favor  which 
saved  Arnaldo  when  he  came  near  being  burned  at  Santa  Christina, 
and  escaped  with  no  worse  infliction  than  being  stigmatized  as  a 
necromancer  and  enchanter,  a  heretic  and  a  pope  of  the  heretics.* 
When  the  persecution  of  the  Spirituals  of  Provence  was  at  its 
height.  Arnaldo  procured  from  Charles  the  Lame  of  Naples,  who 
was  also  Count  of  Provence,  a  letter  to  the  general,  Gerald,  which 
for  a  time  put  a  stop  to  it.  In  1309  we  find  him  at  Avignon,  on 
a  mission  from  Jayme  II.,  well  received  by  Clement  V.,  who 
prized  highly  his  skill  as  a  physician.  He  used  effectively  this  po- 
sition by  secretly  persuading  the  pope  to  send  for  the  leaders  of 
the  Spirituals,  in  order  to  learn  from  them  orally  and  in  writing  of 
what  they  complained  and  what  reformation  they  desired  in  their 
Order.  With  regard  to  his  own  affairs  he  was  not  so  fortunate. 
At  a  public  hearing  before  the  pope  and  cardinals,  in  October, 
1309,  he  predicted  the  end  of  the  world  within  the  century,  and 
the  advent  of  Antichrist  within  its  first  forty  years ;  he  dwelt  at 
much  length  on  the  depravity  of  clergy  and  laity,  and  complained 
bitterly  of  the  persecution  of  those  who  desired  to  live  in  evan- 
gelical poverty.  All  this  was  to  be  expected  of  him,  but  he  added 
the  incredible  indiscretion  of  reading  a  detailed  account  of  the 
dreams  of  Jayme  II.  and  Frederic  of  Trinacria,  their  doubts  and 
his  explanations  and  exhortations — matters,  all  of  them,  as  sacredly 
confidential  as  the  confession  of  a  penitent.  Cardinal  Xapoleone 
Orsini,  the  protector  of  the  Spirituals,  wrote  to  Jayme  congratu- 
lating him  on  his  piety  as  revealed  by  that  wise  and  illuminated 
man,  inflamed  with  the  love  of  God,  Master  Arnaldo,  but  this  ef- 
fort to  conjure  the  tempest  was  unavailing.  The  Cardinal  of 
Porto  and  Ramon  Ortiz,  Dominican  Provincial  of  Aragon,  promptly 
reported  to  Jayme  that  he  and  his  brother  had  been  represented  as 
wavering  in  the  faith  and  as  believers  in  dreams,  and  advised  him 
no  longer  to  employ  as  his  envoy  such  a  heretic  as  Arnaldo. 
Jayme' s  pride  was  deeply  wounded.     It  was  in  vain  that  Clement 


Pelayo,  I.  481,  772. 


CLEMENT    GIVES    THEM    A    HEARING.  57 

assured  him  that  he  had  paid  no  attention  to  Arnaldo's  discourse ; 
the  king  wrote  to  the  pope  and  cardinals  and  to  his  brother  deny- 
ing the  story  of  his  dream  and  treating  Arnaldo  as  an  impostor. 
Frederic  was  less  susceptible  :  he  wrote  to  Jayme  that  the  story 
could  do  them  no  harm,  and  that  the  real  infamy  would  lie  in 
abandoning  Arnaldo  in  his  hour  of  peril.  Arnaldo  took  refuge 
with  him,  and  not  long  afterwards  was  sent  by  him  again  to  Avi- 
gnon on  a  mission,  but  perished  during  the  voyage.  The  exact  date 
of  his  death  is  unknown,  but  it  was  prior  to  February,  1311.  For 
selfish  reasons  Clement  mourned  his  loss,  and  issued  a  bull  an- 
nouncing that  Arnaldo  had  been  his  physician  and  had  promised 
him  a  most  useful  book  which  he  had  written ;  he  had  died  with- 
out doing  so,  and  now  Clement  summoned  any  one  possessing  the 
precious  volume  to  deliver  it  to  him."* 

The  interposition  of  Arnaldo  offered  to  the  Spirituals  an  un- 
expected prospect  of  deliverance.  From  Languedoc  to  Venice  and 
Florence  they  were  enduring  the  bitterest  persecution  from  their 
superiors ;  they  were  cast  into  dungeons  where  they  starved  to 
death,  and  were  exposed  to  the  infinite  trials  for  which  monastic 
life  afforded  such  abundant  opportunities,  when  Arnaldo  persuaded 
Clement  to  make  an  energetic  effort  to  heal  the  schism  in  the  Or- 
der and  to  silence  the  accusations  which  the  Conventuals  brought 
against  their  brethren.  An  occasion  was  found  in  an  appeal  from 
the  citizens  of  Narbonne  setting  forth  that  the  books  of  Olivi  had 
been  unjustly  condemned,  that  the  Rule  of  the  Order  was  disre- 
garded, and  those  who  observed  it  were  persecuted,  and  further 
praying  that  a  special  cult  of  Olivi's  remains  might  be  permitted. 
A  commission  of  important  personages  was  formed  to  investigate 
the  faith  of  Angelo  da  Clarino  and  his  disciples,  who  still  dwelt  in 
the  neighborhood  of  Rome,  and  who  were  pronounced  good  Catho- 
lics. Such  leading  Spirituals  as  Raymond  Gaufridi,  the  former 
general,  Ubertino  da  Casale,  the  intellectual  leader  of  the  sect, 
Raymond  de  Giniac,  former  Provincial  of  Aragon,  Gui  de  Mire- 
poix,  Bartolommeo  Sicardi,  and  others  were  summoned  to  Avignon, 


*  Hist.  Tribulationum  (Archiv  fur  Litt.-  u.  K.  1386, 1.  129).— Pelayo,  I.  481- 
3.  773,  776.— Wadding,  aim.  1312,  No.  7.— Cf.  Trithem.  Chron.  Hirsaug.  ami. 
1310;  Pe  Langii  Chron.  Citicens.  ann.  1320. 


58  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

where  they  were  ordered  to  draw  up  in  writing  the  points  which 
they  deemed  requisite  for  the  reformation  of  the  Order.  To  en- 
able them  to  perform  this  duty  in  safety  they  were  taken  under 
papal  protection  by  a  bull  which  shows  in  its  minute  specifications 
how  real  were  the  perils  incurred  by  those  who  sought  to  restore 
the  Order  to  its  primitive  purity.  Apparently  stimulated  by  these 
warnings,  the  general,  Gonsalvo,  at  the  Chapter  of  Padua  in  1310, 
caused  the  adoption  of  many  regulations  to  diminish  the  luxury 
and  remove  the  abuses  which  pervaded  the  Order,  but  the  evil  was 
too  deep-seated.  He  was  resolved,  moreover,  on  reducing  the  Spir- 
ituals to  obedience,  and  the  hatred  between  the  two  parties  grew 
bitterer  than  ever.* 

The  articles  of  complaint,  thirty-five  in  number,  which  the 
Spirituals  laid  before  Clement  V.  in  obedience  to  his  commands 
formed  a  terrible  indictment  of  the  laxity  and  corruption  which 
had  crept  into  the  Order.  It  was  answered  but  feebly  by  the  Con- 
ventuals, partly  by  denying  its  allegations,  partly  by  dialectical 
subtleties  to  prove  that  the  Kule  did  not  mean  what  it  said,  and 
partly  by  accusing  the  Spirituals  of  heresy.  Clement  appointed  a 
commission  of  cardinals  and  theologians  to  hear  both  sides.  For 
two  years  the  contest  raged  with  the  utmost  fury.  During  its  con- 
tinuance  Eaymond  Gaufridi,  Gui  de  Mirepoix,  and  Bartolommeo 
Sicardi  died — poisoned  by  their  adversaries,  according  to  one  ac- 
count, worn  out  with  ill-treatment  and  insult  according  to  another. 
Clement  had  temporarily  released  the  delegates  of  the  Spirituals 
from  the  jurisdiction  of  their  enemies,  who  had  the  audacity, 
March  1, 1311,  to  enter  a  formal  protest  against  his  action,  alleg- 
ing that  they  were  excommunicated  heretics  under  trial,  who 
could  not  be  thus  protected.  In  this  prolonged  discussion  the 
opposing  leaders  were  Ubertino  da  Casale  and  Bonagrazia  (Bon- 


#  Franz  Ehrle  (Archiv  fur  Litt.-  u.  K.  1886,  pp.  380-1,  384,  386 ;  1887,  p.  36).— 
Rayrn.  de  Fronciacho  (lb.  1887,  p.  18).— Eymerich  p.  316.— Angeli  Clarini  Litt. 
Excus.  (Archiv,  1885,  pp.  531-2).— Wadding,  ann.  1210,  No,  6.— Regest.  Clem- 
ent. PP.  V.  T.  V.  pp.  379  sqq.    Romas,  1887). 

At  the  same  time  that  the  general,  Gonsalvo,  was  seeking  to  repress  the  ac- 
quisitiveness of  the  friars  they  were  procuring  from  the  Emperor  Henry  VII.  a 
decree  annulling  a  local  statute  of  Nuremberg  which  forbade  any  citizen  from 
giving  them  more  than  a  single  gold  piece  at  a  time,  or  a  measure  of  corn.— 
Chron.  Glassberger  ann.  1310. 


THEIR    APPARENT  VICTORY.  59 

cortese)  da  Bergamo.  The  former,  while  absorbed  in  devotion  on 
Mont'  Alverno,  the  scene  of  St.  Francis's  transfiguration,  had  been 
anointed  by  Christ  and  raised  to  a  lofty  degree  of  spiritual  insight. 
His  reputation  is  illustrated  by  the  story  that  while  laboring  with 
much  success  in  Tuscany  he  had  been  summoned  to  Rome  by 
Benedict  XL  to  answer  some  accusations  brought  against  him. 
Soon  afterwards  the  people  of  Perugia  sent  a  solemn  embassy  to 
the  pope  with  two  requests — one  that  Ubertino  be  restored  to 
them,  the  other  that  the  pope  and  cardinals  would  reside  in  their 
city — whereat  Benedict  smiled  and  said,  "  I  see  you  love  us  but  a 
little,  since  you  prefer  Fra  Ubertino  to  us."  He  was  a  Joachite, 
moreover,  who  did  not  hesitate  to  characterize  the  abdication  of 
Celestin  as  a  horrible  innovation,  and  the  accession  of  Boniface  as 
a  usurpation.  Bonagrazia  was  perhaps  superior  to  his  opponent 
in  learning  and  not  his  inferior  in  steadfast  devotion  to  what  he 
deemed  the  truth,  though  Ubertino  characterized  him  as  a  lay 
novice,  skilled  in  the  cunning  tricks  of  the  law.  We  shall  see 
hereafter  his  readiness  to  endure  persecution  in  defence  of  his  own 
ideal  of  poverty ;  and  the  antagonism  of  two  such  men  upon  the 
points  at  issue  between  them  is  the  most  striking  illustration  of 
the  impracticable  nature  of  the  questions  which  raised  so  heated  a 
strife  and  cost  so  much  blood. * 

The  Spirituals  failed  in  their  efforts  to  obtain  a  decree  of  sepa- 
ration which  should  enable  them,  in  peace,  to  live  according  to  their 
interpretation  of  the  Rule,  but  in  other  respects  the  decision  of 
the  commission  was  wholly  in  their  favor,  in  spite  of  the  persist- 
ent effort  of  the  Conventuals  to  divert  attention  from  the  real 
questions  at  issue  to  the  assumed  errors  of  Olivi.  Clement  ac- 
cepted the  decision,  and  in  full  consistory,  in  presence  of  both 
parties,  ordered  them  to  live  in  mutual  love  and  charity,  to  bury 
the  past  in  oblivion,  and  not  to  insult  each  other  for  past  differ- 
ences. Ubertino  replied,  "  Holy  Father,  they  call  us  heretics  and 
defenders  of  heresy ;  there  are  whole  books  full  of  this  in  your  ar- 
chives and  those  of  the  Order.   They  must  either  allege  these  things 


*  Archiv  fur  L.  u.  K.  1887,  pp.  93  sqq.— Hist.  Tribulat.  (Ibid.  1886,  pp.  130, 
132-4).— Ehrle  (Ibid.  1866,  pp.  366, 380).— Wadding,  ann.  1310,  No.  1-5.— Chron. 
Glassberger  ann.  1310. — Ubertini  de  Casali  Tract,  de  septem  Statibus  Ecclesiae 
c.  iv. 


60  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

and  let  us  defend  ourselves,  or  they  must  recall  them.    Otherwise 
there  can  be  no  peace  between  us."     To  this  Clement  rejoined, 
"  We  declare  as  pope,  that  from  what  has  been  stated  on  both 
sides  before  us,  no  one  ought  to  call  you  heretics  and  defenders 
of  heresv.    What  exists  to  that  effect  in  our  archives  or  elsewhere 
we  wholly  erase  and  pronounce  to  be  of  no  validity  against  you." 
The  result  was  seen  in  the  Council  of  Yienne  (1311-12),  which 
adopted  the  canon  known  as  Exivi  de  Paradiso,  designed  to  settle 
forever  the  controversy  which  had  lasted  so  long.     Angelo  da 
Clarino  declares  that  this  was  based  wholly  upon  the  propositions 
of  Ubertino ;  that  it  was  the  crowning  victory  of  the  Spirituals, 
and  his  heart  overflows  with  joy  when  he  communicates  the  good 
news  to  his  brethren.     It  determined,  he  says,  eighty  questions 
concerning  the  interpretation  of  the  Kule ;  hereafter  those  who 
serve  the  Lord  in  hermitages  and  are  obedient  to  their  bishops 
are  secured  against  molestation  by  any  person.     The  inquisitors, 
he  further  stated,  were  placed  under  control  of  the  bishops,  which 
he  evidently  regarded  as  a  matter  of  special  importance,  for  in 
Provence  and  Tuscany  the  Inquisition  was  Franciscan,  and  thus 
in  the  hands  of  the  Conventuals.     We  have  seen  that  Clement 
delayed  issuing  the  decrees  of  the  council.     He  was  on  the  point 
of  doing  so,  after  careful  revision,  when  his  death,  in  131-1,  fol- 
lowed by  a  long  interregnum,  caused  a  further  postponement. 
John  XXII.  was  elected  in  August,  1316,  but  he,  too,  desired  time 
for  further  revision,  and  it  was  not  until  November,  1317,  that  the 
canons  were  finally  issued.     That  they  underwent  change  in  this 
process  is  more  than  probable,  and  the  canon  Exivi  de  Paradiso 
was  on  a  subject  peculiarly  provocative  of  alteration.     As  it  has 
reached  us  it  certainly  does  not  justify  Angelo's  paean  of  tri- 
umph.     It  is  true  that   it  insists  on  a  more  rigid  compliance 
with  the  Rule.     It  forbids  the  placing  of  coffers  in  churches  for 
the  collection  of  money ;  it  pronounces  the  friars  incapable  of 
enjoying  inheritances ;  it  deprecates  the  building  of  magnificent 
churches,  and  convents  which  are  rather  palaces ;  it  prohibits  the 
acquisition  of  extensive  gardens  and  great  vineyards,  and  even 
the  storing  up  of  granaries  of  corn  and  cellars  of  wine  where  the 
brethren  can  live  from  day  to  day  by  beggary ;  it  declares  that 
whatever  is  given  to  the  Order  belongs  to  the  Church  of  Rome, 
and  that  the  friars  have  only  the  use  of  it,  for  they  can  hold  noth- 


CLEMENT  PROTECTS  THEM.  q± 

ing,  either  individually  or  in  common.  In  short,  it  fully  justified 
the  complaints  of  the  Spirituals  and  interpreted  the  Rule  in  ac- 
cordance with  their  views,  but  it  did  not,  as  Angelo  claimed,  al- 
low them  to  live  by  themselves  in  peace,  and  it  subjected  them  to 
their  superiors.  This  was  to  remand  them  into  slavery,  as  the 
great  majority  of  the  Order  were  Conventuals,  jealous  of  the  as- 
sumption of  superior  sanctity  by  the  Spirituals,  and  irritated  by 
their  defeat  and  by  the  threatened  enforcement  of  the  Eule  in  all 
its  rigidity.  This  spirit  was  still  further  inflamed  by  the  action 
of  the  general,  Gonsalvo,  who  zealously  set  to  work  to  carry  out 
the  reforms  prescribed  by  the  canon  Exivi.  He  traversed  the 
various  provinces,  pulling  down  costly  buildings  and  compelling 
the  return  of  gifts  and  legacies  to  donors  and  heirs.  This  excited 
great  indignation  among  the  laxer  brethren,  and  his  speedy  death, 
in  1313,  was  attributed  to  foul  play.  The  election  of  his  succes- 
sor, Alessandro  da  Alessandria,  one  of  the  most  earnest  of  the 
Conventuals,  showed  that  the  Order  at  large  was  not  disposed  to 
submit  quietly  to  pope  and  council.* 

As  might  have  been  expected,  the  strife  between  the  parties 
became  bitterer  than  ever.  Clement's  leaning  in  favor  of  asceti- 
cism is  shown  by  his  canonization,  in  1313,  of  Celestin  V.,  but  when 
the  Spirituals  applied  to  him  for  protection  against  their  brethren 
he  contented  himself  with  ordering  them  to  return  to  their  con- 
vents and  commanding  them  to  be  kindly  treated.  These  com- 
mands were  disregarded.  Mutual  hatreds  were  too  strong  for 
power  not  to  be  abused.  Clement  did  his  best  to  force  the  Con- 
ventuals to  submission;  as  early  as  July,  1311,  he  had  ordered 
Bonagrazia  to  betake  himself  to  the  convent  of  Yalcabrere  in 
Comminges,  and  not  to  leave  it  without  special  papal  license.  At 
the  same  time  he  summoned  before  him  Guiraud  Yallette,  the 
Provincial  of  Provence,  and  fifteen  of  the  principal  officials  of  the 
Order  throughout  the  south  of  France,  who  were  regarded  as  the 
leaders  in  the  oppression  of  the  Spirituals.     In  public  consistory 


*  Ubertini  Responsio  (Archiv  fur  L.  u.  K.  1887,  p.  87). — Baluz.  et  Mansi  II. 
278.— Franz  Ebrle  (Archiv  fur  L.  n.  K.  1885,  pp.  541-2,  545  ;  1886,  p.  362).— 
Hist.  Tribulat.  (Ibid.  1886,  pp.  138-41).— C.  1,  Clement,  v.  11.— Wadding,  ann. 
1312,  No.  9;  ann.  1313,  No.  1.— Chrou.  Glassberger  ann.  1312.— Alvar.  Pelag.  de 
Planet.  Eccles.  Lib.  n.  art.  67. 


£2  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

he  repeated  his  commands,  scolded  them  for  disobedience  and  re- 
bellion, dismissed  from  office  those  who  had  positions,  and  declared 
ineligible  those  who  were  not  officials.  Those  whom  he  ejected  he 
replaced  with  suitable  persons  whom  he  strictly  commanded  to 
preserve  the  peace  and  show  favor  to  the  sorely  afflicted  minority. 
In  spite  of  this  the  scandals  and  complaints  continued,  until  the 
general,  Alessandro,  granted  to  the  Spirituals  the  three  convents 
of  Xarbonne,  Beziers,  and  Carcassonne,  and  ordered  that  the 
superiors  placed  over  them  should  be  acceptable.  The  change 
was  not  effected  without  the  employment  of  force,  in  which  the 
Spirituals  had  the  advantage  of  popular  sympathy,  and  the  con- 
vents thus  favored  became  houses  of  refuge  for  the  discontented 
brethren  elsewhere.  Then  for  a  while  there  seems  to  have  been 
quiet,  but  with  Clement ?s  death,  in  1314,  the  turmoil  commenced 
afresh.  Bonagrazia,  under  pretext  of  sickness,  hastened  to  leave 
his  place  of  confinement,  and  joined  eagerly  in  the  renewed  dis- 
turbance ;  the  dismissed  officials  again  made  their  influence  felt ; 
the  Spirituals  complained  that  they  were  abused  and  defamed  in 
private  and  in  public,  pelted  with  mud  and  stones,  deprived  of 
food  and  even  of  the  sacraments,  despoiled  of  their  habits,  and 
scattered  to  distant  places  or  imprisoned.* 

It  is  possible  that  Clement  might  have  found  some  means  of 
dissolving  the  bonds  between  these  irreconcilable  parties,  but  for 
the  insubordination  of  the  Italian  Spirituals.  These  grew  impa- 
tient during  the  long  conferences  which  preceded  the  Council 
of  Yienne.  Subjected  to  daily  afflictions  and  despairing  of  rest 
within  the  Order,  they  eagerly  listened  to  the  advice  of  a  wise  and 
holy  man,  Canon  Martin  of  Siena,  who  assured  them  that,  how- 
ever few  their  numbers,  they  had  a  right  to  secede  and  elect  their 
own  general.  Under  the  lead  of  Giacopo  di  San  Gemignano  they 
did  so,  and  effected  an  independent  organization.  This  was  rank 
rebellion  and  greatly  prejudiced  the  case  of  the  Spirituals  at  Avig- 
non. Clement  would  not  listen  to  anything  that  savored  of  con- 
cessions to  those  wrho  thus  threw  off  their  pledged  obedience.  He 
promptly  sent  commissions  for  their  trial,  and  they  were  duly  ex- 


#  Jordan.  CI  iron.  c.  326  Partic.  iii.  (Muratori  Antiq.  XI.  767).— Hist.  Tribulat. 
(Archiv,  1886, 140-1).— Franz  Ehrle  (Ibid.  1886,  pp.  158-64;  1887,  pp.  33,  40).— 
Rayni.  de  Fronciacho  (lb.  1887,  p.  27). 


REBELLION    IN    ITALY.  63 

communicated  as  schismatics  and  rebels,  founders  of  a  supersti- 
tious sect,  and  disseminators  of  false  and  pestiferous  doctrines. 
Persecution  against  them  raged  more  furiously  than  ever.  In 
some  places,  supported  by  the  laity,  they  ejected  the  Conventuals 
from  their  houses  and  defended  themselves  by  force  of  arms,  dis- 
regarding the  censures  of  the  Church  which  were  lavished  on  them. 
Others  made  the  best  of  their  way  to  Sicily,  and  others  again, 
shortly  before  Clement's  death,  sent  letters  to  him  professing  sub- 
mission and  obedience,  but  the  friends  of  the  Spirituals  feared  to 
compromise  themselves  by  even  presenting  them.  After  the  ac- 
cession of  John  XXII.  they  made  another  attempt  to  reach  the 
pope,  but  by  that  time  the  Conventuals  were  in  full  control  and 
threw  the  envoys  into  prison  as  excommunicated  heretics.  Such 
of  them  as  were  able  to  do  so  escaped  to  Sicily.  It  is  worthy  of 
note  that  everywhere  the  virtues  and  sanctity  of  these  so-called 
heretics  won  for  them  popular  favor,  and  secured  them  protection 
more  or  less  efficient,  and  this  was  especially  the  case  in  Sicily. 
King  Frederic,  mindful  of  the  lessons  taught  him  by  Arnaldo  de 
Vilanova,  received  the  fugitives  graciously  and  allowed  them  to 
establish  themselves,  in  spite  of  repeated  remonstrances  on  the 
part  of  John  XXII.  There  Henry  da  Ceva,  whom  we  shall  meet 
again,  had  already  sought  refuge  from  the  persecution  of  Boniface 
VIII.  and  had  prepared  the  way  for  those  who  were  to  follow. 
In  1313  there  are  allusions  to  a  pope  named  Celestin  whom  the 
"  Poor  Men"  in  Sicily  had  elected,  with  a  college  of  cardinals,  who 
constituted  the  only  true  Church  and  who  were  entitled  to  the 
obedience  of  the  faithful.  Insignificant  as  this  movement  may 
have  seemed  at  the  time,  it  subsequently  aided  the  foundation  of 
the  sect  known  as  Fraticelli,  who  so  long  braved  with  marvellous 
constancy  the  unsparing  rigor  of  the  Italian  Inquisition.* 

Into  these  dangerous  paths  of  rebellion  the  original  leaders  of 


*  Hist.  Tribulat.  (loc.  cit.  pp.  139-40).— Lami,  Antichita  Toscane,  pp.  596-99. 
—Franz  Ehrle,  Archiv,  1885,  pp.  156-8. —  Joann.  S.Victor.  Chron.  aim.  1319 
(Muratori  S.  R.  I.  III.  n.  479).— Wadding,  ann.  1313,  No.  4-7.— D'Argentre*  I.  i. 
297.— Arch,  de  l'Inq.  de  Carcass.  (Doat,  XXVII.  fol.  7  sqq.).— Raym.  de  Fronci- 
acho  (Archiv,  1887,  p.  31). 

Fra  Francesco  del  Borgo  San  Sepolcro,  who  was  tried  by  the  Inquisition  at 
Assisi  in  1311  for  assuming  gifts  of  prophecy,  was  probably  a  Tuscan  Joachite 
who  refused  submission  (Franz  Ehrle,  Archiv  fur  L.  u.  K.  1887,  p.  11). 


64  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

the  Italian  Spirituals  were  not  obliged  to  enter,  as  they  were  re- 
leased from  subjection  to  the  Conventuals,  and  could  afford  to  re- 
main in  obedience  to  Kome.  Angelo  da  Clarino  writes  to  his  dis- 
ciples that  torment  and  death  were  preferable  to  separation  from 
the  Church  and  its  head ;  the  pope  was  the  bishop  of  bishops,  who 
regulated  all  ecclesiastical  dignities  ;  the  power  of  the  keys  is  from 
Christ,  and  submission  is  due  in  spite  of  persecution.  Yet,  together 
with  these  appeals  are  others  which  show  how  impracticable  was 
the  position  created  by  the  belief  in  St.  Francis  as  a  new  evan- 
gelist whose  Eule  was  a  revelation.  If  kings  or  prelates  com- 
mand what  is  contrary  to  the  faith,  then  obedience  is  due  to 
God,  and  death  is  to  be  welcomed.  Francis  placed  in  the  Rule 
^othinsr  but  what  Christ  bade  him  write,  and  obedience  is  due  to 
it  rather  than  to  prelates.  After  the  persecution  under  John 
XXII.  he  even  quotes  a  prophecy  attributed  to  Francis,  to  the 
effect  that  men  would  arise  who  would  render  the  Order  odious, 
and  corrupt  the  whole  Church ;  there  would  be  a  pope  not  canoni- 
cally  elected  who  would  not  believe  rightly  as  to  Christ  and  the 
Eule ;  there  would  be  a  split  in  the  Order,  and  the  wrath  of  God 
would  visit  those  who  cleaved  to  error.  With  clear  reference  to 
John,  he  says  that  if  a  pope  condemns  evangelical  truth  as  an 
error  he  is  to  be  left  to  the  judgment  of  Christ  and  the  doctors  ; 
if  he  excommunicates  as  heresy  the  poverty  of  the  Gospel,  he  is 
excommunicate  of  God  and  is  a  heretic  before  Christ.  Yet,  though 
his  faith  and  obedience  were  thus  sorely  tried,  Angelo  and  his  fol- 
lowers never  attempted  a  schism.  He  died  in  1337,  worn  out  with 
sixty  years  of  tribulation  and  persecution — a  man  of  the  firmest 
and  gentlest  spirit,  of  the  most  saintly  aspirations,  who  had  fallen 
on  evil  days  and  had  exhausted  himself  in  the  hopeless  effort  to 
reconcile  the  irreconcilable.  Though  John  XXII.  had  permitted 
him  to  assume  the  habit  and  Rule  of  the  Celestins,  he  was  obliged 
to  live  in  hiding,  with  his  abode  known  only  to  a  few  faithful 
friends  and  followers,  of  some  of  whom  we  hear  as  on  trial  before 
the  Inquisition  as  Fraticelli,  in  1334.  It  was  in  the  desert  hermit- 
age of  Santa  Maria  di  Aspro  in  the  Basilicata ;  but  three  days 
before  his  death  a  rumor  spread  that  a  saint  was  dying  there,  and 
such  multitudes  assembled  that  it  was  necessary  to  place  guards 
at  the  entrance  of  his  retreat,  and  admit  the  people  two  by  two  to 
gaze  on  his  dying  agonies.     He  shone  in  miracles,  and  was  finallv 


INSUBORDINATION    IN    PROVENCE.  65 

beatified  by  the  Church,  which  through  the  period  of  two  genera- 
tions had  never  ceased  to  trample  on  him,  but  his  little  congrega- 
tion, though  lost  to  sight  in  the  more  aggressive  energy  of  the 
Fraticelli,  continued  to  exist,  even  after  the  tradition  of  self-abne- 
gation was  taken  up  under  more  fortunate  auspices  by  the  Obser- 
vantines,  until  it  was  finally  absorbed  into  the  latter  in  the  re- 
organization of  1517  under  Leo  X.* 

In  Provence,  even  before  the  death  of  Clement  V.,  there  were 
ardent  spirits,  nursing  the  reveries  of  the  Everlasting  Gospel,  who 
were  not  satisfied  with  the  victory  won  at  the  Council  of  Yienne. 
When,  in  1311,  the  Conventuals  assailed  the  memory  of  Olivi,  one 
of  their  accusations  was  that  he  had  given  rise  to  sects  who 
claimed  that  his  doctrine  was  revealed  by  Christ,  that  it  was  of 
equal  authority  with  the  gospel,  that  since  Nicholas  III.  the  papal 
supremacy  had  been  transferred  to  them,  and  they  consequently 
had  elected  a  pope  of  their  own.  This  Ubertino  did  not  deny, 
but  only  argued  that  he  knew  nothing  of  it ;  that  if  it  were  true 
Olivi  was  not  responsible,  as  it  was  wholly  opposed  to  his  teaching, 
of  which  not  a  word  could  be  cited  in  support  of  such  insanity. 
Yet,  undoubtedly  there  were  sectaries  calling  themselves  disciples  of 
Olivi  among  whom  the  revolutionary  leaven  was  working,  and  they 
could  recognize  no  virtue  or  authority  in  the  carnal  and  worldly 
Church.  In  1313  we  hear  of  a  Frere  Raymond  Jean,  who,  in  a 
public  sermon  at  Montreal,  prophesied  that  they  would  suffer 
persecution  for  the  faith,  and  when,  after  the  sermon,  he  was 
asked  what  he  meant,  boldly  replied  in  the  presence  of  several 
persons,  "  The  enemies  of  the  faith  are  among  ourselves.  The 
Church  which  governs  us  is  symbolled  by  the  Great  Whore  of  the 
Apocalypse,  who  persecutes  the  poor  and  the  ministers  of  Christ. 
You  see  we  do  not  dare  to  walk  openly  before  our  brethren."  He 
added  that  the  only  true  pope  was  Celestin,  who  had  been  elected 
in  Sicily,  and  his  organization  was  the  only  true  Church.f 

Thus  the  Spirituals  were  by  ho  means  a  united  body.     When 

*  Franz  Ehrle  (Archiv  f.  L.  u.  K.  1885,  pp.  534-9,  553-5,  558-9,  561,  563-4, 
566-9 ;  1887,  p.  406).— S.  Francisci  Prophet,  xiv.  (Opp.  Ed.  1849,  pp.  270-1).— 
Chron.  Glassberger  ann.  1502, 1506, 1517. 

f  Franz  Ehrle  (Archiv  fur  Litt.-  u.  K.  1886,  pp.  371,  411).— Arch,  de  l'lnq. 
de  Carcassonne  (Doat,  XXVII.  fol.  7  sqq.). 
III.— 5 


qq  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

once  the  trammels  of  authority  had  been  shaken  off,  there  was 
among  them  too  much  individuality  and  too  ardent  a  fanaticism 
for  them  to  reach  precisely  the  same  convictions,  and  they  were 
fractioned  into  little  groups  and  sects  which  neutralized  what 
slender  ability  they  might  otherwise  have  had  to  give  serious 
trouble  to  the  powerful  organization  of  the  hierarchy.  Yet, 
whether  their  doctrines  were  submissive  like  those  of  Angelo,  or 
revolutionary  like  those  of  Eaymond  Jean,  they  were  all  guilty 
of  the  unpardonable  crime  of  independence,  of  thinking  for  them- 
selves where  thought  was  forbidden,  and  of  believing  in  a  higher 
law  than  that  of  papal  decretals.  Their  steadfastness  was  soon  to 
be  put  to  the  test.  In  1314  the  general,  Alessandro,  died,  and 
after  an  interval  of  twenty  months  Michele  da  Cesena  was  chosen 
as  his  successor.  To  the  chapter  of  Naples  which  elected  him  the 
Spirituals  of  Xarbonne  sent  a  long  memorial  reciting  the  wrongs 
and  afflictions  which  they  had  endured  since  the  death  of  Clem- 
ent had  deprived  them  of  papal  protection.  The  nomination  of 
Michele  might  seem  to  be  a  victory  over  the  Conventuals.  He 
was  a  distinguished  theologian,  of  resolute  and  unbending  temper, 
and  resolved  on  enforcing  the  strict  observance  of  the  Rule. 
"Within  three  months  of  his  election  he  issued  a  general  precept 
enjoining  rigid  obedience  to  it.  The  vestments  to  be  worn  were 
minutely  prescribed,  money  was  not  to  be  accepted  except  in  case 
of  absolute  necessity ;  no  fruits  of  the  earth  were  to  be  sold ;  no 
splendid  buildings  to  be  erected  ;  meals  were  to  be  plain  and 
frugal ;  the  brethren  were  never  to  ride,  nor  even  to  wear  shoes 
except  under  written  permission  of  their  convents  when  exigency 
required  it.  The  Spirituals  might  hope  that  at  last  they  had  a 
general  after  their  own  heart,  but  they  had  unconsciously  drifted 
away  from  obedience,  and  Michele  was  resolved  that  the  Order 
should  be  a  unit,  and  that  all  wanderers  should  be  driven  back 
into  the  fold.* 

A  fortnight  before  the  issuing  of  this  precept  the  long  inter- 
regnum of  the  papacy  had  been  closed  by  the  election  of  John 
XXII.  There  have  been  few  popes  who  have  so  completely  em- 
bodied the  ruling  tendencies  of  their  time,  and  few  who  have 
exerted  so  large  an  influence  on  the  Church,  for  good  or  for  evil. 


*  Franz  Ehrle  (loc.  cit.  1886,  pp.  160-4).— Wadding,  ann.  1316,  No.  5. 


JOHN    XXII.  67 

Sprung  from  the  most  humble  origin,  his  abilities  and  force  of 
character  had  carried  him  from  one  preferment  to  another,  until 
he  reached  the  chair  of  St.  Peter.  He  was  short  in  stature  but 
robust  in  health,  choleric  and  easily  moved  to  wrath,  while  his 
enmity  once  excited  was  durable,  and  his  rejoicing  when  his  foes 
came  to  an  evil  end  savored  little  of  the  Christian  pastor.  Per- 
sistent and  inflexible,  a  purpose  once  undertaken  was  pursued  to 
the  end  regardless  of  opposition  from  friend  or  enemy.  He  was 
especially  proud  of  his  theologic  attainments,  ardent  in  disputa- 
tion, and  impatient  of  opposition.  After  the  fashion  of  the  time 
he  was  pious,  for  he  celebrated  mass  almost  every  day,  and  almost 
every  night  he  arose  to  recite  the  Office  or  to  study.  Among  his 
good  works  is  enumerated  a  poetical  description  of  the  Passion  of 
Christ,  concluding  with  a  prayer,  and  he  gratified  his  vanity  as  an 
author  by  proclaiming  many  indulgences  as  a  reward  to  all  who 
would  read  it  through.  His  chief  characteristics,  however,  were 
ambition  and  avarice.  To  gratify  the  former  he  waged  endless 
wars  with  the  Yisconti  of  Milan,  in  which,  as  we  are  assured  by 
a  contemporary,  the  blood  shed  would  have  incarnadined  the 
waters  of  Lake  Constance,  and  the  bodies  of  the  slain  would  have 
bridged  it  from  shore  to  shore.  As  for  the  latter,  his  quenchless 
greed  displayed  an  exhaustless  fertility  of  resource  in  converting 
the  treasures  of  salvation  into  current  coin.  He  it  was  who  first 
reduced  to  a  system  the  "  Taxes  of  the  Penitentiary,"  which 
offered  absolution  at  fixed  prices  for  every  possible  form  of  human 
wickedness,  from  five  grossi  for  homicide  or  incest,  to  thirty-three 
grossi  for  ordination  below  the  canonical  age.  Before  he  had  been 
two  years  in  the  papacy  he  arrogated  to  himself  the  presentation 
to  all  the  collegiate  benefices  in  Christendom,  under  the  convenient 
pretext  of  repressing  simony,  and  then  from  their  sale  we  are  told 
that  he  accumulated  an  immense  treasure.  Another  still  more 
remunerative  device  was  the  practice  of  not  filling  a  vacant  episco- 
pate from  the  ranks,  but  establishing  a  system  of  promotion  from 
a  poorer  see  to  a  richer  one,  and  thence  to  archbishoprics,  so  that 
each  vacancy  gave  him  the  opportunity  of  making  numerous 
changes  and  levying  tribute  on  each.  Besides  these  regular  sources 
of  unhallow-ed  gains  he  was  fertile  in  special  expedients,  as  when, 
in  1326,  needing  money  for  his  Lombard  wars,  he  applied  to  Charles 
le  Bel  for  authority  to  levy  a  subsidy  on  the  churches  of  France, 


53  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

Germany  being  for  the  time  cut  off  by  his  quarrel  with  Louis  of 
Bavaria.  Charles  at  first  refused,  but  finally  agreed  to  divide  the 
spoils,  and  granted  the  power  in  consideration  of  a  papal  grant  to 
him  of  a  tithe  for  two  years — as  a  contemporary  remarks,  "  et  ainsi 
saincte  yglise,  quant  Vun  le  font,  V autre  VescorcheP  John  pro- 
ceeded to  extort  a  large  sum ;  from  some  he  got  a  full  tithe,  from 
others  a  half,  from  others  again  as  much  as  he  could  extract,  while 
all  who  held  benefices  under  papal  authority  had  to  pay  a  full 
years  revenue.  His  excuse  for  this  insatiable  acquisitiveness  was 
that  he  designed  the  monev  for  a  crusade,  but  as  he  lived  to  be 
a  nonagenary  without  executing  that  design,  the  contemporary 
Villani  is  perhaps  justified  in  the  cautious  remark — "  Possiby  he 
had  such  intention."  Though  for  the  most  part  parsimonious,  he 
spent  immense  sums  in  advancing  the  fortunes  of  his  nephew — or 
son — the  Cardinal-legate  Poyet,  who  was  endeavoring  to  found  a 
principality  in  the  north  of  Italy.  He  lavished  money  in  making 
Avignon  a  permanent  residence  for  the  papacy,  though  it  was  re- 
served for  Benedict  XII.  to  purchase  and  enlarge  the  enormous 
palace-fortress  of  the  popes.  Yet  after  his  death,  when  an  inven- 
tory of  his  effects  came  to  be  made,  there  was  found  in  his  treasury 
eighteen  millions  of  gold  florins,  and  jewels  and  vestments  esti- 
mated at  seven  millions  more.  Even  in  mercantile  Florence,  the 
sum  was  so  incomprehensible  that  Villani,  whose  brother  was  one 
of  the  appraisers,  feels  obliged  to  explain  that  each  million  is  a 
thousand  thousands.  When  we  reflect  upon  the  comparative  pov- 
erty of  the  period  and  the  scarcity  of  the  precious  metals,  we  can 
estimate  how  great  an  amount  of  suffering  was  represented  by 
such  an  accumulation,  wrung  as  it  was,  in  its  ultimate  source, 
from  the  wretched  peasantry,  who  gleaned  at  the  best  an  insuf- 
ficient subsistence  from  imperfect  agriculture.  We  can,  perhaps, 
moreover,  imagine  how,  in  its  passage  to  the  papal  treasury,  it 
represented  so  much  of  simony,  so  much  of  justice  sold  or  denied 
to  the  wretched  litigants  in  the  curia,  so  much  of  purgatory  re- 
mitted, and  of  pardons  for  sins  to  the  innumerable  applicants  for 
a  share  of  the  Church's  treasurv  of  salvation^ 


*  Villani,  Chronica.  Lib.  xi.  c.  20. — Chron.  Glassberger  ann.  1334.— Vitodurani 
Chron.  (Eccard.  Corp.  Hist.  Med.  ^Evi  I.  1806-8).— Friednch,  Statut.  Synod. 
Wratislav.,  Hannoverae,  1827,  pp.  37,  38,  41.— Grandes  Chroniques,  V.  300.— 
Guillel.  Nangiac.  Contiu.  ann.  1326. — The  collection  of  papal  briefs  relating  to 


JOHN'S   VIGOROUS    ACTION.  69 

The  permanent  evil  which  he  wrought  by  his  shameless  traffic 
in  benefices,  and  the  reputation  which  he  leff  behind  him,  are  visi- 
ble in  the  bitter  complaints  which  were  made  at  the  Council  of 
Siena,  a  century  later,  by  the  deputies  01  the  Gallican  nation. 
They  refer  to  his  pontificate  as  that  in  which  the  Holy  See  re- 
served all  benefices  to  itself,  when  graces,  expectatives,  etc.,  were 
publicly  sold  to  the  highest  bidder,  without  regard  to  qualifica- 
tion, so  that  in  France  many  benefices  were  utterly  ruined  by 
reason  of  the  insupportable  burdens  laid  upon  them.  It  is  no 
wonder,  therefore,  that  when  St.  Birgitta  of  Sweden  was  applied 
to,  in  the  latter  half  of  the  fourteenth  century,  by  some  Francis- 
cans to  learn  whether  John's  decretals  on  the  subject  of  the  pov- 
erty of  Christ  were  correct,  and  she  was  vouchsafed  two  visions 
of  the  Virgin  to  satisfy  their  scruples,  the  Virgin  reported  that 
his  decretals  were  free  from  error,  but  discreetly  announced  that 
she  was  not  at  liberty  to  say  whether  his  soul  was  in  heaven  or 
in  hell.  Such  was  the  man  to  whom  the  cruel  irony  of  fate  com- 
mitted the  settlement  of  the  delicate  scruples  which  vexed  the 
souls  of  the  Spirituals.* 

John  had  been  actively  engaged  in  the  proceedings  of  the 
Council  of  Vienne,  and  was  thoroughly  familiar  with  all  the  de- 
tails of  the  question.  When,  therefore,  the  general,  Michele,  short- 
ly after  his  accession,  applied  to  him  to  restore  unity  in  the  dis- 
tracted Order,  his  imperious  temper  led  him  to  take  speedy  and 
vigorous  action.  King  Frederic  of  Trinacria  was  ordered  to  seize 
the  refugees  in  his  dominions,  and  deliver  them  to  their  superiors  to 
be  disciplined.  Bertrand  de  la  Tour,  the  Provincial  of  Aquitaine, 
was  instructed  to  reduce  to  obedience  the  rebels  of  the  convents 


Saxony  recently  printed  by  Schmidt  (Pabstliche  Urkunden  und  Regesten,  pp. 
87-295)  will  explain  the  immense  sums  raised  by  John  XXII.  from  the  sale  of 
canonries.  It  is  within  bounds  to  say  that  more  than  half  the  letters  issued  dur- 
ing his  pontificate  are  appointments  of  this  kind. 

The  accounts  of  the  papal  collector  for  Hungary  in  1320  show  the  thorough- 
ness with  which  the  first-fruits  of  every  petty  benefice  were  looked  after,  and  the 
enormous  proportion  consumed  in  the  process.  The  collector  charges  himself 
with  1913  gold  florins  received,  of  which  only  732  reached  the  papal  treasury. 
(Theiner,  Monumenta  Slavor.  Meridional.  I.  147). 

*  Jo.  de  Ragusio  Init.  et  Prosecut.  Basil.  Concil.  (Monument.  Concil.  Ssec.  XV. 
T.  I.  p.  32).— Revelat.  S.  Brigittas  Lib.  vn.  c.  viii. 


70  THE    SPIRITUAL   FRANCISCANS. 

of  Beziers,  ISarbonne,  and  Carcassonne.  Bertrand  at  first  tried 
persuasion.  The  outward  sign  of  the  Spirituals  was  the  habit. 
They  wore  smaller  hoods,  and  gowns  shorter,  narrower,  and  coarser 
than  the  Conventuals  ;  and,  holding  this  to  be  in  accordance  with 
the  precedent  set  by  Francis,  it  was  as  much  an  article  of  faith 
with  them  as  the  absence  of  granaries  and  wine-cellars  and  the 
refusal  to  handle  money.  When  he  urged  them  to  abandon  these 
vestments  they  therefore  replied  that  this  was  one  of  the  matters 
in  which  they  could  not  render  obedience.  Then  he  assumed  a 
tone  of  authority  under  the  papal  rescript,  and  they  rejoined  by 
an  appeal  to  the  pope  better  informed,  signed  by  forty-five  friars 
of  Narbonne,  and  fifteen  of  Beziers.  On  receipt  of  the  appeal, 
John  peremptorily  ordered,  April  27,  1317,  all  the  appellants  to 
present  themselves  before  him  within  ten  days,  under  pain  of  ex- 
communication. They  set  forth,  seventy -four  in  number,  with 
Bernard  Delicieux  at  their  head,  and  on  reaching  Avignon  did  not 
venture  to  lodge  in  the  Franciscan  convent,  but  bivouacked  for 
the  night  on  the  public  place  in  front  of  the  papal  doors.* 

They  were  regarded  as  much  more  dangerous  rebels  than  the 
Italian  Spirituals.  The  latter  had  already  had  a  hearing  in  which 
Ubertino  da  Casale  confuted  the  charges  brought  against  them, 
and  he,  Goffrido  da  Cornone,  and  Philippe  de  Caux,  while  express- 
ing sympathy  and  readiness  to  defend  Olivi  and  his  disciples,  had 
plainly  let  it  be  seen  that  they  regarded  themselves  as  not  per- 
sonally concerned  with  them.  John  drew  the  same  distinction; 
and  though  Angelo  da  Clarino  was  for  a  while  imprisoned  on  the 
strength  of  an  old  condemnation  by  Boniface  VIII.,  he  was  soon 
released  and  permitted  to  adopt  the  Celestin  habit  and  Rule. 
Ubertino  was  told  that  if  he  would  return  for  a  few  days  to  the 
Franciscan  convent  proper  provision  would  be  made  for  his  fut- 
ure. To  this  he  significantly  replied,  "After  staying  with  the 
friars  for  a  single  day  I  will  not  require  any  provision  in  this 
world  from  you  or  any  one  else,"  and  he  was  permitted  to  trans- 
fer himself  to  the  Benedictine  Order,  as  were  likewise  several 
others  of  his  comrades.     He  had  but  a  temporary  respite,  how- 


No.  9-14.  —  Hist.  Tribulation.  (Archiv  far  L.  u.  K. 
ictor.  Chron.  ann.  1311,  1316  (Muratori  S.  R.  I.  III.  n. 


THE    OLIVISTS    PREJUDGED.  71 

ever,  and  we  shall  see  hereafter  that  in  1325  he  was  obliged  to 
take  refuge  with  Louis  of  Bavaria.* 

The  Olivists  were  not  to  escape  so  easily.  The  day  after  their 
arrival  they  were  admitted  to  audience.  Bernard  Delicieux  ar- 
gued their  case  so  ably  that  he  could  only  be  answered  by  accus- 
ing him  of  having  impeded  the  Inquisition,  and  John  ordered  his 
arrest.  Then  Francois  Sanche  took  up  the  argument,  and  was  ac- 
cused of  having  vilified  the  Order  publicly,  when  John  delivered 
him  to  the  Conventuals,  who  promptly  imprisoned  him  in  a  cell 
next  to  the  latrines.  Then  Guillaume  de  Saint-Amand  assumed 
the  defence,  but  the  friars  accused  him  of  dilapidation  and  of  de- 
serting the  Convent  of  Narbonne,  and  John  ordered  his  arrest. 
Then  Geoffroi  attempted  it,  but  John  interrupted  him,  saying, 
"We  wonder  greatly  that  you  demand  the  strict  observance  of 
the  Rule,  and  yet  you  wear  five  gowns."  Geoffroi  replied,  "  Holy 
Father,  you  are  deceived,  for,  saving  your  reverence,  it  is  not  true 
that  I  wear  five  gowns."  John  answered  hotly,  "  Then  we  lie," 
and  ordered  Geoffroi  to  be  seized  until  it  could  be  determined  how 
many  gowns  he  wore.  The  terrified  brethren,  seeing  that  their 
case  was  prejudged,  fell  on  their  knees,  crying,  "  Holy  Father,  jus- 
tice, justice !"  and  the  pope  ordered  them  all  to  go  to  the  Francis- 
can convent,  to  be  guarded  till  he  should  determine  what  to  do 
with  them.  Bernard,  Guillaume,  and  Geoffroi,  and  some  of  their 
comrades  were  subjected  to  harsh  imprisonment  in  chains  by  or- 
der of  the  pope.  Bernard's  fate  we  have  already  seen.  As  to 
the  others,  an  inquisition  was  held  on  them,  when  all  but  twenty- 
five  submitted,  and  were  rigorously  penanced  by  the  triumphant 
Conventuals,  f 

The  twenty-five  recalcitrants  were  handed  over  to  the  Inquisi- 
tion of  Marseilles,  under  whose  jurisdiction  they  were  arrested. 
The  inquisitor  was  Frere  Michel  le  Moine,  one  of  those  who  had 
been  degraded  and  imprisoned  by  Clement  V.  on  account  of  their 
zeal  in  persecuting  the  Spirituals.  ~Now  he  was  able  to  glut  his 
revenge.  He  had  ample  warrant  for  whatever  he  might  please  to 
do,  for  John  had  not  waited  to  hear  the  Spirituals  before  condemn- 
ing them.     As  early  as  February  17,  he  had  ordered  the  inquisi- 

*  Hist.  Tribulat.  (ubi  sup.  pp.  143-44,  151-2).— Franz  Ehrle,  Archiv,  1887,  p. 
546. 

f  Hist.  Tribulat.  (Ibid.  pp.  145-6).— Ray m.  de  Fronciacho  (lb.  1887,  p.  29). 


72  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

tors  of  Languedoc  to  denounce  as  heretics  all  who  styled  them- 
selves Fraticelli  or  Fratres  de  paupere  vita.  Then,  April  13,  he 
had  issued  the  constitution  Quorumdam,  in  which  he  had  definite- 
ly settled  the  two  points  which  had  become  the  burning  questions 
of  the  dispute — the  character  of  vestments  to  be  worn,  and  the 
legality  of  laying  up  stores  of  provisions  in  granaries,  and  cellars 
of  wine  and  oil.  These  questions  he  referred  to  the  general  of 
the  Order  with  absolute  power  to  determine  them.  Under  Mi- 
chele's  instructions,  the  ministers  and  guardians  were  to  determine 
for  each  convent  what  amount  of  provisions  it  required,  what  por- 
tion might  be  stored  up,  and  to  what  extent  the  friars  were  to  beg 
for  it.  Such  decisions  were  to  be  implicitly  followed  without 
thinking  or  asserting  that  they  derogated  from  the  Eule.  The 
bull  wound  up  with  the  significant  words,  "  Great  is  poverty, 
but  greater  is  blamelessness,  and  perfect  obedience  is  the  greatest 
good."  There  was  a  hard  common-sense  about  this  which  may 
seem  to  us  even  commonplace,  but  it  decided  the  case  against  the 
Spirituals,  and  gave  them  the  naked  alternative  of  submission  or 
rebellion.* 

This  bull  was  the  basis  of  the  inquisitorial  process  against  the 
twenty-five  recalcitrants.  The  case  was  perfectly  clear  under  it, 
and  in  fact  all  the  proceedings  of  the  Spirituals  after  its  issue  had 
been  flagrantly  contumacious — their  refusal  to  change  their  vest- 
ments, and  their  appeal  to  the  pope  better  informed.  Before 
handing  them  over  to  the  Inquisition  they  had  been  brought  be- 
fore Michele  da  Cesena,  and  their  statements  to  him  when  read 
before  the  consistory  had  been  pronounced  heretical  and  the  au- 
thors subject  to  the  penalty  of  heresy.  Efforts  of  course  had  been 
made  to  secure  their  submission,  but  in  vain,  and  it  was  not  until 
November  6, 1317,  that  letters  were  issued  by  John  and  by  Michele 
da  Cesena  to  the  Inquisitor  Michel,  directing  him  to  proceed  with 
the  trial.  Of  the  details  of  the  process  we  have  no  knowledge, 
but  it  is  not  likely  that  the  accused  were  spared  any  of  the  rigors 
customary  in  such  cases,  when  the  desire  was  to  break  the  spirit 
and  induce  compliance.  This  is  shown,  moreover,  in  the  fact  that 
the  proceedings  were  protracted  for  exactly  six  months,  the  sen- 
tence being  rendered  on  May  7, 1318,  and  by  the  further  fact  that 


Coll.  Doat,  XXXIV.  147.— Extrav.  Joann.  XXII.  Tit.  xiv.  cap.  1. 


THE    MARTYRS    OF    MARSEILLES.  73 

most  of  the  culprits  were  brought  to  repentance  and  abjuration. 
Only  four  of  them  had  the  physical  and  mental  endurance  to  per- 
severe to  the  last — Jean  Barrani,  Deodat  Michel,  Guillem  Sainton, 
and  Pons  Rocha — and  these  were  handed  over  the  same  day  to  the 
secular  authorities  of  Marseilles  and  duly  burned.  A  fifth,  Ber- 
nard Aspa,  who  had  said  in  prison  that  he  repented,  but  who  re- 
fused to  recant  and  abjure,  was  mercifully  condemned  to  prison 
for  life,  though  under  all  inquisitorial  rules  he  should  have  shared 
the  fate  of  his  accomplices.  The  rest  were  forced  to  abjure  pub- 
licly and  to  accept  the  penances  imposed  by  the  inquisitor,  with 
the  warning  that  if  they  failed  to  publish  their  abjuration  wher- 
ever they  had  preached  their  errors  they  would  be  burned  as  re- 
lapsed.* 

Although  in  the  sentence  the  heresv  of  the  victims  is  said  to 
have  been  drawn  from  the  poisoned  doctrine  of  Olivi,  and  though 
the  inquisitor  issued  letters  prohibiting  any  one  from  possessing 
or  reading  his  books,  there  is  no  allusion  to  any  Joachite  error. 
It  was  simply  a  question  of  disobedience  to  the  bull  Quorumdam. 
They  affirmed  that  this  was  contrary  to  the  Gospel  of  Christ,  which 
forbade  them  to  wear  garments  of  other  fashion  than  that  which 
they  had  adopted,  or  to  lay  up  stores  of  corn  and  wine.  To  this 
the  pope  had  no  authority  to  compel  them ;  the}T  would  not  obey 
him,  and  this  they  declared  they  would  maintain  until  the  Day  of 
Judgment.  Frivolous  as  the  questions  at  issue  undoubtedly  were, 
it  was  on  the  one  hand  a  case  of  conscience  from  which  reason 
had  long  since  been  banished  by  the  bitterness  of  controversy, 
and  on  the  other  the  necessity  of  authority  compelling  obedience. 
If  private  judgment  were  allowed  to  set  aside  the  commands  of  a 
papal  decretal,  the  moral  power  of  the  papacy  was  gone,  and  with 
it  all  temporal  supremacy.  Yet,  underlying  all  this  was  the  old 
Joachitic  leaven  which  taught  that  the  Church  of  Rome  had  no 
spiritual  authority,  and  thus  that  its  decrees  were  not  binding  on 
the  elect.  When  Bernard  Delicieux  was  sent,  in  1319,  from  Avi- 
gnon to  Castelnaudari  for  trial,  on  the  road  he  talked  freely  with 
his  escort  and  made  no  secret  of  his  admiration  for  Joachim,  even 
going  so  far  as  to  say  that  he  had  erased  from  his  copy  of  the 
Decretum  the  Lateran  canon  condemning  Joachim's  Trinitarian 


*  Baluz.  et  Mansi  II.  248-51.— Hist.  Tribulat.  (loc.  cit,  p.  147). 


74  THE    SPIRITUAL   FRANCISCANS. 

error,  and  that  if  he  were  pope  he  would  abrogate  it.  The  influ- 
ence of  the  Everlasting  Gospel  is  seen  in  the  fact  that  of  those 
who  recanted  at  Marseilles  and  were  imprisoned,  a  number  fled  to 
the  Infidel,  leaving  behind  them  a  paper  in  which  they  defiantly 
professed  their  faith,  and  prophesied  that  they  would  return  tri- 
umphantly after  the  death  of  John  XXII.* 

Thus  John,  ere  yet  his  pontificate  was  a  year  old,  had  succeed- 
ed in  creating  a  new  heresy — that  which  held  it  unlawful  for 
Franciscans  to  wear  flowing  gowns  or  to  have  granaries  and  cellars. 
In  the  multiform  development  of  human  perversity  there  has  been 
perhaps  none  more  deplorably  ludicrous  than  this,  that  man  should 
burn  his  fellows  on  such  a  question,  or  that  men  should  be  found 
dauntless  enough  to  brave  the  flames  for  such  a  principle,  and  to 
feel  that  they  were  martyrs  in  a  high  and  holy  cause.  John  proba- 
bly, from  the  constitution  of  his  mind  and  his  training,  could  not 
understand  that  men  could  be  so  enamoured  of  holy  poverty  as  to 
sacrifice  themselves  to  it,  and  he  could  only  regard  them  as  obsti- 
nate rebels,  to  be  coerced  into  submission  or  to  pay  the  penalty. 
He  had  taken  his  stand  in  support  of  Michele  da  Cesena's  author- 
ity, and  resistance,  whether  active  or  passive,  only  hardened  him. 

The  bull  Quorumdam  had  created  no  little  stir.  A  defence  of 
it,  written  by  an  inquisitor  of  Carcassonne  and  Toulouse,  probably 
Jean  de  Beaune,  shows  that  its  novel  positions  had  excited  grave 
doubts  in  the  minds  of  learned  men,  who  were  not  convinced  of  its 
orthodoxy,  though  not  prepared  to  risk  open  dissent.  There  is  also 
an  allusion  to  a  priest  who  persisted  in  maintaining  the  errors 
which  it  condemned  and  who  was  handed  over  to  the  secular  arm, 

*  Raym.  de  Fronciacho  (Archiv  f.  L.  u.  K.  1887,  p.  31).— Baluz.  et  Mansi 
II.  248-51,  271-2.  — Joann.  S.Victor.  Chron.  ann.  1319  (Muratori  S.  R.  I.  III.  n. 
478-9).— MSS.  Bib.  Nat.,  fonds  latin,  No.  4270,  fol.  188,  262.  Bernard,  however, 
in  his  examination,  denied  these  allegations  as  well  as  Olivi's  tenet  that  Christ 
was  alive  when  lanced  upon  the  Cross,  although  he  said  some  MSS.  of  St.  Mark 
so  represented  him  (fol.  167-8). 

Of  the  remainder  of  those  who  were  tried  at  Marseille?  the  fate  is  uncertain. 
From  the  text  it  appears  that  at  least  some  of  them  were  imprisoned.  Others 
were  probably  let  off  with  lighter  penances,  for  in  1325  Blaise  Boerii,  a  shoe- 
maker of  Narbonne,  when  on  trial  before  the  Inquisition  of  Carcassonne,  con- 
fessed that  he  had  visited,  in  houses  at  Marseilles,  three  of  them  at  one  time  and 
four  at  another,  and  had  received  them  in  his  own  house  and  had  conducted 
them  on  their  way. — Doat,  XXVII.  7  sqq. 


POPULAR    SYMPATHY.  75 

but  who  recanted  ere  the  fagots  were  lighted  and  was  received  to 
penance.  To  silence  discussion,  John  assembled  a  commission  of 
thirteen  prelates  and  doctors,  including  Michele  da  Cesena,  who 
after  due  consideration  solemnly  condemned  as  heretical  the  prop- 
ositions that  the  pope  had  no  authority  to  issue  the  bull,  and  that 
obedience  was  not  due  to  prelates  who  commanded  the  laying 
aside  of  short  and  narrow  vestments  and  the  storing  up  of  corn 
and  wine.  All  this  was  rapidly  creating  a  schism,  and  the  bull 
Sancta  Romana,  December  30, 1317,  and  Gloriosam  ecclesiam,  Jan- 
uary 23, 1318,  were  directed  against  those  who  under  the  names  of 
Fraticelli,  Beguines,  Bizochi,  and  Fratres  de  paupere  vita,  in  Sicily, 
Italy,  and  the  south  of  France,  were  organizing  an  independent 
Order  under  the  pretence  of  observing  strictly  the  Kule  of  Francis, 
receiving  multitudes  into  their  sect,  building  or  receiving  houses 
in  gift,  begging  in  public,  and  electing  superiors.  All  such  are  de- 
clared excommunicate  ipso  facto,  and  all  prelates  are  commanded 
to  see  that  the  sect  is  speedily  extirpated.* 

Among  the  people,  the  cooler  heads  argued  that  if  the  Francis- 
can vow  rendered  all  possession  sinful  it  was  not  a  vow  of  holi- 
ness, for  in  things  in  which  use  was  consumption,  such  as  bread 
and  cheese,  use  passed  into  possession.  He  who  took  such  a  vow, 
therefore,  by  the  mere  fact  of  living  broke  that  vow,  and  could  not 
be  in  a  state  of  grace.  The  supreme  holiness  of  poverty,  however, 
had  been  so  assiduously  preached  for  a  hundred  years  that  a  large 
portion  of  the  population  sympathized  with  the  persecuted  Spir- 
ituals ;  many  laymen,  married  and  unmarried,  joined  them  as  Ter- 
tiaries,  and  even  priests  embraced  their  doctrines.  There  speedily 
grew  up  a  sect,  by  no  means  confined  to  Franciscans,  to  replace 
the  fast-vanishing  Cathari  as  an  object  for  the  energies  of  the  In- 
quisition. It  is  the  old  story  over  again,  of  persecuted  saints  with 
the  familiars  ever  at  their  heels,  but  always  finding  refuge  and 
hiding-place  at  the  hands  of  friendly  sympathizers.  Pierre  Tren- 
cavel,  a  priest  of  Beziers,  may  be  taken  as  an  example.  His  name 
recurs  frequently  in  the  examinations  before  the  Inquisition  as  that 
of  one  of  the  principal  leaders  of  the  sect.  Caught  at  last,  he  was 
thrown  into  the  prison  of  Carcassonne,  but  managed  to  escape, 


*  Baluz.  et  Mansi  II.  270-1,  274-6.— Extravagant.  Joann.  XXII.  Tit.  vn. 
Mag.  Bull.  Roman.  I.  193. 


76  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

when  he  was  condemned  in  an  auto  defe  as  a  convicted  heretic. 
Then  a  purse  was  raised  among  the  faithful  to  send  him  to  the 
East.  After  an  absence  of  some  years  he  returned  and  was  as 
active  as  ever,  wandering  in  disguise  throughout  the  south  of 
France  and  assiduously  guarded  by  the  devotees.  What  was  his 
end  does  not  appear,  but  he  probably  perished  at  length  at  the 
stake  as  a  relapsed  heretic,  for  in  1327  we  find  him  and  his  daugh- 
ter Andree  in  the  pitiless  hands  of  Michel  of  Marseilles.  Jean 
du  Prat,  then  Inquisitor  of  Carcassonne,  wanted  them,  in  order  to 
extort  from  them  the  names  of  their  disciples  and  of  those  who 
had  sheltered  them.  Apparently  Michel  refused  to  surrender 
them,  and  a  peremptory  order  from  John  XXII.  was  requisite  to 
obtain  their  transfer.  In  1325  Bernard  Castillon  of  Montpellier 
confesses  to  harboring  a  number  of  Beguines  in  his  house,  and  then 
to  buying  a  dwelling  for  them  in  which  he  visited  them.  Another 
culprit  acknowledges  to  receiving  many  fugitives  in  his  house  at 
Montpellier.  There  was  ample  sympathy  for  them  and  ample 
occasion  for  it.* 

The  burning  of  the  four  martyrs  of  Marseilles  was  the  signal 
for  active  inquisitorial  work.  Throughout  all  the  infected  region 
the  Holy  Office  bent  its  energies  to  the  suppression  of  the  new 
heresy  ;  and  as  previously  there  had  been  no  necessity  for  conceal- 
ing opinions,  the  suspects  were  readily  laid  hold  of.     There  was 


*  Guill.  Nangiac.  Contin.  ann.  1317.— Coll.  Doat,  XXVII.  7  sqq.,  170  ;  XXXV. 
18.— Lib.  Sententt.  Inq.  Tolos.  pp.  301.  312,  381. 

The  case  of  Raymond  Jean  illustrates  the  life  of  the  persecuted  Spirituals. 
As  early  as  1312  he  had  commenced  to  denounce  the  Church  as  the  Whore  of 
Babylon,  and  to  prophesy  his  own  fate.  In  1317  he  was  one  of  the  appellants 
who  were  summoned  to  Avignon,  where  he  submitted.  Remitted  to  the  obedi- 
ence of  his  Order,  he  was  sent  by  his  superior  to  the  convent  of  Anduse,  where  he 
remained  until  he  heard  the  fate  of  his  stancher  companions  at  Marseilles,  when 
l.e  fled  with  a  comrade.  Reaching  Beziers,  they  found  refuge  in  a  house  where, 
in  company  with  some  female  apostates  from  the  Order,  they  lay  hid  for  three 
years.  After  this  Raymond  led  a  wandering  life,  associating  for  a  while  with 
Pierre  Trencavel.  At  one  time  he  went  beyond  seas  ;  then  returning,  he  adopted 
the  habit  of  a  secular  priest  and  assumed  the  cure  of  souls,  sometimes  in  Gascony 
and  again  in  Rodez  or  east  of  the  Rhone.  Captured  at  last  in  1325  and  brought 
before  the  Inquisition  of  Carcassonne,  after  considerable  pressure  he  was  induced 
to  recant.  His  sentence  is  not  given,  but  doubtless  it  was  perpetual  imprison- 
ment.—Doat,  XXVII.  7  sqq. 


UNSPARING    PERSECUTION.  77 

thus  an  ample  harvest,  and  the  rigor  of  the  inquisition  set  on  foot 
is  shown  by  the  order  issued  in  February,  1322,  by  John  XXII., 
that  all  Tertiaries  in  the  suspected  districts  should  be  summoned 
to  appear  and  be  closely  examined.     This  caused  general  terror. 
In  the  archives  of  Florence  there  are  preserved  numerous  letters 
to  the  papal  curia,  written  in  February,  1322,  by  the  magistrates 
and  prelates  of  the  Tuscan  cities,  interceding  for  the  Tertiaries,  and 
begging  that  they  shall  not  be  confounded  with  "the  new  sect  of 
Beguines.     This  is   doubtless   a  sample  of  what  was  occurring 
everywhere,  and  the  all-pervading  fear  was  justified  by  the  daily 
increasing  roll  of  martyrs.     The  test  was  simple.     It  was  whether 
the  accused  believed  that  the  pope  had  power  to  dispense  with 
vows,  especially  those  of  poverty  and  chastity.    As  we  have  seen, 
it  was  a  commonplace  of  the  schools,  which  Aquinas  proved  beyond 
cavil,  that  he  had  no  such  power,  and  even  as  recently  as  1311 
the  Conventuals,  in  arguing  before  Clement  V.,  had  admitted  that 
no  Franciscan  could  hold  property  or  take  a  wife  under  command 
from  the  pope ;  but  things  had  changed  in  the  interval,  and  now 
those  who  adhered  to  the  established  doctrine  had  the  alternative 
of  recantation  or  the  stake.     Of  course  but  a  small  portion  of  the 
culprits  had  the  steadfastness  to  endure  to  the  end  against  the  per- 
suasive methods  which  the  Inquisition  knew  so  well  how  to  employ, 
and  the  number  of  the  victims  who  perished  shows  that  the  sect 
must  have  been  large.      Our  information  is  scanty  and  fragmen- 
tary, but  we  know  that  at  Narbonne,  where  the  bishops  at  first 
endeavored  to  protect  the  unfortunates,  until  frightened  by  the 
threats  of  the  inquisitors,  there  were  three  burned  in  1319,  seventeen 
in  Lent,  1321,  and  several  in  1322.     At  Montpellier,  persecution 
was  already  active  in  1 319.   At  Lunel  there  were  seventeen  burned ; 
at  Beziers,  two  at  one  time  and  seven  at  another ;  at  Pezenas,  sev- 
eral, with  Jean  Formayron  at  their  head ;  in  Gironde,  a  number  in 
1319 ;  at  Toulouse,  four  in  1322,  and  others  at  Cabestaing  and  Lo- 
deve.    At  Carcassonne  there  were  burnings  in  1319, 1320,  and  1321, 
and  Henri  de  Chamay  was  active  there  between  1325  and  1330. 
A  portion  of  his  trials  are  still  extant,  with  very  few  cases  of  burn- 
ing, but  Mosheim  had  a  list  of  one  hundred  and  thirteen  persons 
executed  at  Carcassonne  as  Spirituals  from  1318  to  about  1350. 
All  these  cases  were  under  Dominican  inquisitors,  and  the  Fran- 
ciscans were  even  more  zealous,  if  we  may  believe  Wadding's  boast 


73  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

that  in  1323  there  were  one  hundred  and  fourteen  burned  by  Fran- 
ciscan inquisitors  alone.  The  Inquisition  at  Marseilles,  in  fact, 
which  was  in  Franciscan  hands,  had  the  reputation  of  being  exces- 
sively severe  with  the  recalcitrant  brethren  of  the  Order.  In  a 
case  occurring  in  1329  Frere  Guillem  de  Salvelle,  the  Guardian  of 
Beziers,  states  that  their  treatment  there  was  very  harsh  and  the 
imprisonment  of  the  most  rigorous  description.  Doubtless  Angelo 
da  Clarino  has  justification  for  the  assertion  that  the  Conventuals 
improved  their  triumph  over  their  antagonists  like  mad  dogs  and 
wolves,  torturing,  slaying,  and  ransoming  without  mercy.  Trivial 
as  may  seem  to  us  the  cause  of  quarrel,  we  cannot  but  respect  the 
simple  earnestness  which  led  so  many  zealots  to  seal  their  convic- 
tions with  their  blood.  Many  of  them,  we  are  told,  courted  mar- 
tyrdom and  eagerly  sought  the  flames.  Bernard  Leon  of  Mon- 
treal was  burned  for  persistently  declaring  that,  as  he  had  vowed 
poverty  and  chastity,  he  would  not  obey  the  pope  if  ordered  to  take 
a  wife  or  accept  a  prebend.* 

Ferocious  persecution  such  as  this  of  course  only  intensified  the 
convictions  of  the  sufferers  and  their  antagonism  to  the  Holy  See. 
So  far  as  regards  the  ostensible  subject  of  controversy,  we  learn 
from  Pierre  Tort,  when  he  was  before  the  Inquisition  of  Toulouse 
in  1322,  that  it  was  allowable  to  lay  in  stores  of  corn  and  wine 
sufficient  for  eight  or  fifteen  days,  while  of  salt  and  oil  there  might 
be  provision  for  half  a  year.  As  to  vestments,  Michele  da  Cesena 
had  exercised  the  power  conferred  on  him  by  the  bull  Quorumdam 
by  issuing,  in  1317,  a  precept  requiring  the  gown  to  be  made  of 
coarse  stuff,  reaching  down  to  cover  only  half  the  foot,  while  the 
cord  was  to  be  of  hemp  and  not  of  flax.  Although  he  seems  to 
have  left  the  burning  question  of  the  hood  untouched,  this  regula- 
tion might  have  satisfied  reasonable  scruples,  but  it  was  a  case  of 
conscience  which  admitted  of  no  compromise.  The  Spirituals  de- 
clared that  they  were  not  bound  to  abandon  the  still  shorter  and 


#  Raynald  ann.  1322,  No.  51. — Archivio  di  Firenze,  Prov.  del  Convento  di 
Santa  Croce,  Feb.  1322. — S.  Th.  Aquin.  Summ.  Sec.  Sec.  Q.  lxxxviii.  Art.  xi. ;  Q. 
clxxxvi.  Art.  viii.  ad  3. — Franz  Ehrle  (Archiv  fur  Litt.-  u.  Kirchengeschichte, 
1887,  p.  156).— Lib.  Sententt.  Inq.  Tolos.  pp.  300,  313,  381-93.— Coll.  Doat, 
XXVII.,  XXVIIL— Mosheim  de  Beghardis  pp.  499, 632.— Vaissette,  IV.  182-3.— 
Wadding,  ann.  1317,  No.  45.— Hist.  Tribulat.  (loc.  cit.  p.  149).— Arch,  de  1'  Inq. 
de  Carcass.  (Doat,  XXVII.  162).— Johann.  S.  Victor.  Chron.  ann.  1316-19. 


REVIVAL    OF    JOACHITISM.  79 

more  ungainly  gowns  which  their  tradition  attributed  to  St.  Fran- 
cis, no  matter  what  might  be  commanded  by  pope  or  general,  and 
so  large  was  the  importance  attributed  to  the  question  that  in  the 
popular  belief  the  four  martyrs  of  Marseilles  were  burned  because 
they  wore  the  mean  and  tightly-fitting  garments  which  distin- 
guished the  Spirituals.* 

Technically  they  were  right,  for,  as  we  have  seen  above,  it 
had  hitherto  been  generally  admitted  that  the  pope  could  not 
dispense  for  vows ;  and  when  Olivi  developed  this  to  the  further 
position  that  he  could  not  order  anything  contrary  to  an  evangeli- 
cal vow,  it  was  not  reckoned  among  his  errors  condemned  by  the 
Council  of  Yienne.  While  all  this,  however,  had  been  admitted 
as  a  theoretical  postulate,  when  it  came  to  be  set  up  against  the 
commands  of  such  a  pope  as  John  XXII.  it  was  rebellious  heresy, 
to  be  crushed  with  the  sternest  measures.  At  the  same  time  it 
was  impossible  that  the  sufferers  could  recognize  the  authority 
which  was  condemning  them  to  the  stake.  Men  who  willingly 
offered  themselves  to  be  burned  because  they  asserted  that  the  pope 
had  no  power  to  dispense  from  the  observance  of  vows ;  who  de- 
clared that  if  there  were  but  one  woman  in  the  world,  and  if  she 
had  taken  a  vow  of  chastity,  the  pope  could  give  her  no  valid  dis- 
pensation, even  if  it  were  to  prevent  the  human  race  from  coming 
to  an  end ;  who  asserted  that  John  XXII.  had  sinned  against  the 
gospel  of  Christ  when  he  had  attempted  to  permit  the  Francis- 
cans to  have  granaries  and  cellars ;  who  held  that  although  the 
pope  might  have  power  over  other  Orders  he  had  none  over  that 
of  St.  Francis,  because  his  Rule  was  divine  revelation,  and  not  a 
word  in  it  could  be  altered  or  erased — such  men  could  only  defend 
themselves  against  the  pope  by  denying  the  source  of  his  author- 
ity. All  the  latent  Joachitic  notions  which  had  been  dormant  were 
vivified  and  became  the  leading  principles  of  the  sect.  John 
XXII. ,  when  he  issued  the  bull  Quorumdam,  became  the  mystical 
Antichrist,  the  forerunner  of  the  true  Antichrist.  The  Roman 
Church  was  the  carnal  Church ;  the  Spirituals  would  form  the  new 
Church,  which  would  fight  with  Antichrist,  and,  under  the  guidance 
of  the  Holy  Ghost,  would  usher  in  the  new  age  when  man  would 


*  Lib.  Sententt.  Inq.  Tolosan.  pp.  320,  325.—  Wadding,  ann.  1317,  No.  23.— 
Coll.  Doat,  XXVII.  7  sqq. 


80  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

be  ruled  by  love  and  poverty  be  universal.  Some  of  them  placed 
this  in  1325,  others  in  1330,  others  again  in  fourteen  years  from 
1321.  Thus  the  scheme  of  the  Everlasting  Gospel  was  formally 
adopted  and  brought  to  realization.  There  were  two  churches- 
one  the  carnal  Church  of  Home,  the  Whore  of  Babylon,  the  Syna- 
gogue of  Satan,  drunk  with  the  blood  of  the  saints,  over  which 
John  XXII.  pretended  to  preside,  although  he  had  forfeited  his 
station  and  become  a  heretic  of  heretics  when  he  consented  to  the 
death  of  the  martyrs  of  Marseilles.  The  other  was  the  true  Church, 
the  Church  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  which  would  speedily  triumph 
through  the  arms  of  Frederic  of  Trinacria.  St.  Francis  would  be 
resurrected  in  the  flesh,  and  then  would  commence  the  third  age 
and  the  seventh  and  last  state  of  mankind.  Meanwhile,  the  sacra- 
ments were  already  obsolete  and  no  longer  requisite  for  salvation. 
It  is  to  this  period  of  frenzied  exaltation  that  we  may  doubtless 
attribute  the  interpolations  of  Olivi's  writings.* 

This  new  Church  had  some  sort  of  organization.  In  the  trial  of 
Xaprous  Boneta  at  Carcassonne,  in  1325,  there  is  an  allusion  to  a 
Frere  Guillem  Giraud,  who  had  been  ordained  by  God  as  pope  in 
place  of  John  XXII. ,  whose  sin  had  been  as  great  as  Adam's,  and 
who  had  thus  been  deposed  by  the  divine  will.  There  were  not 
lacking  saints  and  martyrs,  besides  Francis  and  Olivi.  Fragments 
of  the  bodies  and  bones  of  those  who  perished  at  the  stake  were 
treasured  up  as  relics,  and  even  pieces  of  the  stakes  at  which  they 
suffered.  These  were  set  before  altars  in  their  houses,  or  carried 
about  the  person  as  amulets.  In  this  cult,  the  four  martyrs  of 
Marseilles  were  pre-eminently  honored ;  their  suffrages  with  God 
were  as  potent  as  those  of  St.  Laurence  or  St.  Vincent,  and  in  them 
Christ  had  been  spiritually  crucified  on  the  four  arms  of  the  cross. 
One  poor  wretch,  who  was  burned  at  Toulouse  in  1322,  had  in- 
serted in  his  litany  the  names  of  seventv  Spirituals  who  had  suf- 
fered ;  he  invoked  them  among  the  other  saints,  attaching  equal 
importance  to  their  intervention ;  and  this  was  doubtless  a  cus- 
tomary and  recognized  form  of  devotion.  Yet  this  cult  was  sim- 
pler than  that  of  the  orthodox  Church,  for  it  was  held  that  the 


*  Lib.  Sententt.  Inq.  Tolosan.  pp.  298-99.  302-6,  316.— Bern.  Guidon.  Prac- 
lica  P.  v.— Doat,  XXVII.  7  sqq.— Johann.  S.  Victor.  Chron.  ann.  1316-19  Olura- 
tori  S.  R.  I.  III.  ii.  478-9). 


SUBDIVISION    OF    THE    SECTARIES.  81 

saints  needed  no  oblations,  and  if  a  man  had  vowed  a  candle  to  one 
of  them  or  to  the  Virgin,  or  a  pilgrimage  to  Compostella,  it  would 
be  better  to  give  to  the  poor  the  money  that  it  would  cost.* 

The  Ghurch  composed  of  these  enthusiastic  fanatics  broke  off 
all  relations  with  the  Italian  Spirituals,  whose  more  regulated  zeal 
seemed  lukewarmness  and  backsliding.  The  prisoners  who  were 
tried  by  Bernard  Gui  in  1322  at  Toulouse  described  the  Franciscan 
Order  as  divided  into  three  fragments  —  the  Conventuals,  who 
insisted  on  having  granaries  and  cellars,  the  Fraticelli  under  Henry 
da  Ceva  in  Sicily,  and  the  Spirituals,  or  Beguines,  then  under  per- 
secution. The  two  former  groups  they  said  did  not  observe  the 
Kule  and  would  be  destroyed,  while  their  own  sect  would  endure 
to  the  end  of  the  world.  Even  the  saintly  and  long-suffering 
Angelo  da  Clarino  was  denounced  as  an  apostate,  and  there  were 
hot-headed  zealots  who  declared  that  he  would  prove  to  be  the 
mystical  Antichrist.  Others  were  disposed  to  assign  this  doubt- 
ful honor,  or  even  the  position  of  the  greater  Antichrist,  to  Felipe 
of  Majorca,  brother  of  that  Ferrand  whom  we  have  seen  offered 
the  sovereignty  of  Carcassonne.  Felipe's  thirst  for  asceticism  had 
led  him  to  abandon  his  brother's  court  and  become  a  Tertiary  of 
St.  Francis.  Angelo  alludes  to  him  repeatedly,  with  great  admi- 
ration, as  worthy  to  rank  with  the  ancient  perfected  saints.  In 
the  stormy  discussions  soon  after  John's  accession  he  had  inter- 
vened in  favor  of  the  Spirituals,  petitioning  that  they  be  allowed 
to  form  a  separate  Order.  After  taking  the  full  vows,  he  renewed 
this  supplication  in  1328,  but  it  was  refused  in  full  consistory,  after 
which  we  hear  of  him  wandering  over  Europe  and  living  on  beg- 
gary. In  1341,  with  the  support  of  Robert  of  Naples,  he  made  a 
third  application,  which  Benedict  XII.  rejected  for  the  reason  that 
he  was  a  supporter  and  defender  of  the  Beguines,  whom  he  had 
justified  after  their  condemnation  by  publicly  asserting  many 
enormous  heretical  lies  about  the  Holy  See.  Such  were  the  men 
whose  self-devotion  seemed  to  these  fiery  bigots  so  tepid  as  to  ren- 
der them  objects  of  detestation.f 


*  Doat,  XXVII.  7  sqq.— Lib;  Sententt.  Inq.  Tolos.  pp.  305,  307,  310,  383-5.-^- 
Bern.  Guidon.  Practica  P.  v. 

t  Lib.  Sententt.  Inq.  Tolos.  pp.  303,  309,  326,  330.— Bern.  Guidon.  Practica 
P.  v.— Franz  Ehrle  (op.  cit.  1885,  pp.  540,  543,  557),— Ray  in.  de  Fronciacho  (lb. 
III.— 6 


g2  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

The  heights  of  exaltation  reached  in  their  religious  delirium 
are  illustrated  by  the  career  of  Xaprous  Boneta,  who  was  rever- 
enced in  the  sect  as  an  inspired  prophetess.  As  early  as  1315  she 
had  fallen  into  the  hands  of  the  Inquisition  at  Hontpellier,  and  had 
been  thrown  into  prison,  to  be  subsequently  released.  She  and  her 
sister  Alissette  were  warmly  interested  in  the  persecuted  Spirituals, 
and  gave  refuge  to  many  fugitives  in  their  house.  As  persecution 
grew  hotter,  her  exaltation  increased.  In  1320  she  commenced  to 
have  visions  and  ecstasies,  in  which  she  was  carried  to  heaven  and 
had  interviews  with  Christ.  Finally,  on  Holy  Thursday,  1321, 
Christ  communicated  to  her  the  Divine  Spirit  as  completely  as  it 
had  been  given  to  the  Virgin,  saying,  "  The  Blessed  Virgin  Mary 
was  the  giver  of  the  Son  of  God :  thou  shalt  be  the  giver  of  the 
Holy  Ghost."  Thus  the  promises  of  the  Everlasting  Gospel  were 
on  the  point  of  fulfilment,  and  the  Third  Age  was  about  to  dawn. 
Elijah,  she  said,  was  St.  Francis,  and  Enoch  was  Olivi ;  the  power 
granted  to  Christ  lasted  until  God  gave  the  Holy  Spirit  to  Olivi, 
and  invested  him  with  as  much  glory  as  had  been  granted  to  the 
humanity  of  Christ.  The  papacy  has  ceased  to  exist,  the  sacra- 
ments of  the  altar  and  of  confession  are  superseded,  but  that  of 
matrimony  remains.  That  of  penitence,  indeed,  still  exists,  but  it 
is  purely  internal,  for  heartfelt  contrition  works  forgiveness  of 
sins  without  sacerdotal  intercession  or  the  imposition  of  penance. 
One  remark,  which  she  casually  made  when  before  her  judges,  is 
noteworthy  as  manifesting  the  boundless  love  and  charity  of  these 
poor  souls.  The  Spirituals  and  lepers,  she  said,  who  had  been 
burned  were  like  the  innocents  massacred  by  Herod — it  was  Satan 
who  procured  the  burning  of  the  Spirituals  and  lepers.  This  alludes 
to  the  hideous  cruelties  which,  as  we  have  seen,  were  perpetrated 
on  the  lepers  in  1321  and  1322,  when  the  whole  of  France  went 
mad  with  terror  over  a  rumored  poisoning  of  the  wells  by  these 
outcasts,  and  when,  it  seems,  the  Spirituals  were  wise  enough  and 
humane  enough  to  sympathize  with  them  and  condemn  their  mur- 
der.    Naprous,  at  length,  was  brought  before  Henri  de  Chamay, 


1887,  p.  29.— Guillel.  Nangiac.  Contin.  ann.  1330.— Wadding,  ann.  1341,  No. 
21,  23. 

A  subdivision  of  the  Italian  Fraticelli  took  the  name  of  Brethren  of  Fray 
Felipe  de  Mallorca  (Tocco,  Archivio  Storico  Napoletano,  1887,  Fasc.  1). 


CHARACTERISTICS   OF   THE    SECT.  33 

the  Inquisitor  of  Carcassonne,  in  1325.  Sincere  in  the  belief  of 
her  divine  mission,  she  spontaneously  and  fearlessly  related  her 
history  and  stated  her  faith,  and  in  her  replies  to  her  examiners 
she  was  remarkably  quick  and  intelligent.  When  her  confession 
was  read  over  to  her  she  confirmed  it,  and  to  all  exhortations  to 
retract  she  quietly  answered  that  she  would  live  and  die  in  it  as 
the  truth.  She  was  accordingly  handed  over  to  the  secular  arm 
and  sealed  her  convictions  with  her  blood.* 

Extravagances  of  belief  such  as  this  were  not  accompanied  with 
extravagance  of  conduct.  Even  Bernard  Gui  has  no  fault  to  find 
with  the  heretics'  mode  of  life,  except  that  the  school  of  Satan 
imitated  the  school  of  Christ,  as  laymen  imitate  like  monkeys  the 
pastors  of  the  Church.  They  all  vowed  poverty  and  led  a  life  of 
self-denial,  some  of  them  laboring  with  their  hands  and  others  beg- 
ging by  the  wayside.  In  the  towns  and  villages  they  had  little 
dwellings  which  they  called  Houses  of  Poverty,  and  where  they 
dwelt  together.  On  Sundays  and  feast-days  their  friends  would 
assemble  and  all  would  listen  to  readings  from  the  precepts  and 
articles  of  faith,  the  lives  of  the  saints,  and  their  own  religious 
books  in  the  vulgar  tongue — mostly  the  writings  of  Olivi,  which 
they  regarded  as  revelations  from  God,  and  the  "  Transitus  Sancti 
Patris"  which  was  a  legendary  account  of  his  death.  The  only 
external  signs  by  which  Bernard  says  they  were  to  be  recognized 
were  that  on  meeting  one  another,  or  entering  a  house,  they  would 
say,  "  Blessed  be  Jesus  Christ,"  or  "  Blessed  be  the  name  of  the 
Lord  Jesus  Christ."  When  praying  in  church  or  elsewhere  they 
sat  with  hooded  heads  and  faces  turned  to  the  wall,  not  standing 
or  kneeling,  or  striking  their  hands,  as  was  customary  with  the 
orthodox.  At  dinner,  after  asking  a  blessing,  one  of  them  would 
kneel  and  recite  Gloria  in  excelsis,  and  after  supper,  Salve  Regina. 
This  was  all  inoffensive  enough,  but  they  had  one  peculiarity  to 
which  Bernard  as  an  inquisitor  took  strong  exceptions.  When  on 
trial  they  were  ready  enough  to  confess  their  own  faith,  but  noth- 
ing would  induce  them  to  betray  their  associates.  In  their  sim- 
plicity they  held  that  this  would  be  a  violation  of  Christian  charity 
to  which  they  could  not  lawfully  be  compelled,  and  the  inquisitor 
wasted  infinite  pains  in  the  endeavor  to  show  that  it  is  charity  to 


*  Coll.  Doat,  XXVII.  7  sqq.,  95. 


81  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

one's  neighbor,  and  not  an  injury,  to  give  him  a  chance  of  con- 
version.- 

Evidently  these  poor  folk  would  have  been  harmless  enough 
if  let  alone,  and  their  persecution  could  only  be  justified  by  the 
duty  of  the  Church  to  preserve  erring  souls  from  perdition.  A 
sect  based  upon  the  absolute  abnegation  of  property  as  its  chief 
principle,  and  the  apocalyptic  reveries  of  the  Everlasting  Gospel, 
could  never  become  dangerous,  though  it  might  be  disagreeable, 
from  its  mute — or  perhaps  vivacious — protest  against  the  luxury 
and  Avorldliness  of  the  Church.  Even  if  let  alone  it  would  prob- 
ably soon  have  died  out.  Springing  as  it  did  in  a  region  and  at  a 
period  in  which  the  Inquisition  was  thoroughly  organized,  it  had 
no  chance  of  survival,  and  it  speedily  succumbed  under  the  fero- 
cious energy  of  the  proceedings  brought  to  bear  against  it.  Yet 
we  cannot  fix  with  any  precision  the  date  of  its  extinction.  The 
records  are  imperfect,  and  those  which  we  possess  fail  to  draw  a 
distinction  between  the  Spirituals  and  the  orthodox  Franciscans, 
who,  as  we  shall  see,  Avere  driven  to  rebellion  by  John  XXII.  on  the 
question  of  the  poverty  of  Christ.  This  latter  dogma  became  one 
of  so  much  larger  importance  that  the  dreams  of  the  Spirituals 
were  speedily  lost  to  view,  and  in  the  later  cases  it  is  reasonable  to 
assume  that  the  victims  were  Fraticelli.  Still,  there  are  several 
prosecutions  on  record  at  Carcassonne  in  1329,  which  were  doubt- 
less of  Spirituals.  One  of  them  was  of  Jean  Eoger,  a  priest  who 
had  stood  in  high  consideration  at  Beziers ;  he  had  been  an  asso- 
ciate of  Pierre  Trencavel  in  his  wanderings,  and  the  slight  penance 
imposed  on  him  would  seem  to  indicate  that  the  ardor  of  persecu- 
tion was  abating,  though  we  learn  that  the  bones  of  the  martyrs 
of  Marseilles  were  still  handed  around  as  relics.  John  XXII.  was 
not  disposed  to  connive  at  any  relaxation  of  rigor,  and  in  Febru- 
ary, 1331,  he  reissued  his  bull  Sancta  Rornana,  with  a  preface  ad- 
dressed to  bishops  and  inquisitors  in  which  he  assumes  that  the  sect 
is  flourishing  as  vigorously  as  ever,  and  orders  the  most  active  meas- 
ures taken  for  its  suppression.  Doubtless  there  Avere  subsequent 
prosecutions,  but  the  sect  as  a  distinctive  one  faded  out  of  sight.f 

During  the  period  of  its  actiAre  existence  it  had  spread  across 


*  Bern.  Guidon.  Practica  P.  v.         f  Doat,  XXVII.  156, 170, 178,  215 ;  XXXII.  147. 


PERSECUTION    IN    ARAGON.  85 

the  Pyrenees  into  Aragon.  Even  before  the  Council  of  Beziers, 
in  1299,  took  official  cognizance  of  the  nascent  heresy,  the  bishops 
of  Aragon,  assembled  at  Tarragona  in  1297,  instituted  repressive 
measures  against  the  Begumes  who  were  spreading  errors  through- 
out the  kingdom,  and  all  Franciscan  Tertiaries  were  subjected  to 
supervision.  Their  books  in  the  vulgar  tongue  were  especially 
dreaded,  and  were  ordered  to  be  surrendered.  These  precautions 
did  not  avert  the  evil.  As  we  have  seen,  Arnaldo  de  Vilanova 
became  a  Avarm  advocate  of  the  Spirituals  ;  his  indefatigable  pen 
was  at  their  service,  his  writings  had  wide  circulation,  and  his  in- 
fluence with  Jayme  II.  protected  them.  With  his  death  and  that 
of  Clement  V.  persecution  commenced.  Immediately  after  the 
latter  event,  in  1314,  the  Inquisitor  Bernardo  de  Puycerda,  one  of 
Arnaldo's  special  antagonists,  undertook  their  suppression.  At 
their  head  stood  a  certain  Pedro  Oler,  of  Majorca,  and  Fray  Bo- 
nato.  They  were  obstinate,  and  were  handed  over  to  the  secular 
arm,  when  all  were  burned  except  Bonato,  who  recanted  on  being 
scorched  by  the  flames.  He  was  dragged  from  the  burning  pile, 
cured,  and  condemned  to  perpetual  imprisonment,  but  after  some 
twenty  years  he  was  found  to  be  still  secretly  a  Spiritual,  and  was 
burned  as  a  relapsed  in  1335.  Emboldened  by  the  accession  of 
John  XXIL,  in  November,  1316,  Juan  de  Llotger,  the  inquisitor, 
and  Jofre  de  Cruilles,  provost  of  the  vacant  see  of  Tarragona, 
called  together  an  assembly  of  Dominicans,  Franciscans,  and  Cis- 
tercians, who  condemned  the  apocalyptic  and  spiritualistic  writ- 
ings of  Arnaldo,  which  were  ordered  to  be  surrendered  within  ten 
days  under  pain  of  excommunication.  The  persecution  continued. 
Duran  de  Baldach  was  burned  as  a  Spiritual,  with  a  disciple,  in  1325. 
About  the  same  time  John  XXIL  issued  several  bulls  command- 
ing strict  inquisition  to  be  made  for  them  throughout  Aragon, 
Valencia,  and  the  Balearic  Isles,  and  subjecting  them  to  the  juris- 
diction of  the  bishops  and  inquisitors  in  spite  of  any  privileges  or 
immunities  which  they  might  claim  as  Franciscans.  The  heresy, 
however,  seems  never  to  have  obtained  any  firm  foothold  on  Span- 
ish soil.  Yet  it  penetrated  even  to  Portugal,  for  Alvaro  Pelayo 
tells  us  that  there  were  in  Lisbon  some  pseudo-Franciscans  who 
applauded  the  doctrine  that  Peter  and  his  successors  had  not  re- 
ceived from  Christ  the  power  which  he  held  on  earth.* 

*  Concil.  Tarraconens.  ann.  1297  c.  1-4  (Martene  Ampl.  Coll.  VII.  305-6).— 


86  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

A  somewhat  different  development  of  the  Joachitic  element  is 
seen  in  the  Franciscan  Juan  de  Pera-Tallada  or  de  Pupescissa, 
better  known  perhaps  through  Froissart  as  Jean  de  la  Eoche- 
taillade.  As  a  preacher  and  missionary  he  stood  pre-eminent,  and 
his  voice  was  heard  from  his  native  Catalonia  to  distant  Moscow. 
Somewhat  given  to  occult  science,  various  treatises  on  alchemy 
have  been  attributed  to  him,  among  which  Pelayo  tells  us  that 
it  is  difficult  to  distinguish  the  genuine  from  the  doubtful.  Xot 
only  in  this  did  he  follow  Arnaldo  de  Yilanova,  but  in  mercilessly 
lashing  the  corruptions  of  the  Church,  and  in  commenting  on  the 
prophecies  of  the  pseudo-Joachim.  No  man  of  this  school  seemed 
able  to  refrain  from  indulging  in  prophecy  himself,  and  Juan 
gained  wide  reputation  by  predictions  which  were  justified  by  the 
event,  such  as  the  battle  of  Poitiers  and  the  Great  Schism.  Per- 
haps this  might  have  been  forgiven  had  he  not  also  foretold  that 
the  Church  would  be  stripped  of  the  superfluities  which  it  had  so 
shockingly  abused.  One  metaphor  which  he  employed  was  largely 
quoted.  The  Church,  he  said,  was  a  bird  born  without  feathers, 
to  which  all  other  fowls  contributed  plumage,  which  they  would 
reclaim  in  consequence  of  its  pride  and  tyranny.  Like  the  Spirit- 
uals he  looked  fondly  back  to  the  primitive  days  before  Const an- 
tine,  when  in  holy  poverty  the  foundations  of  the  faith  were  laid. 
He  seems  to  have  steered  clear  of  the  express  heresy  as  to  the  pov- 
erty of  Christ,  and  when  he  came  to  Avignon,  in  1319,  to  proclaim 
his  views,  although  several  attempts  to  burn  him  were  ineffectual, 
he  was  promptly  thrown  into  jail.  He  was  "  durement  grand  clerc" 
and  his  accusers  were  unable  to  convict  him,  but  he  was  too  dan- 
gerous a  man  to  be  at  large,  and  he.  was  kept  in  confinement. 
"When  he  was  finally  liberated  is  not  stated,  but  if  Pelayo  is  cor- 
rect in  saying  that  he  returned  home  at  the  age  of  ninety  he  must 
have  been  released  after  a  long  incarceration.* 


Eymeric.  pp.  265-6. — Raynald.  ann.  1325,  No.  20. — Mosheim  de  Beghardis  p. 
641.— Pelayo,  Heterodoxos  Espanoles,  I.  777-81,  783.— For  the  fate  of  Arnaldo 
de  Vilanova's  writings  in  the  Index  Expurgatorius,  see  Reusch,  Der  Index  der 
verbotenen  Biicher,  I.  33-4.  Two  of  the  tracts  condemned  in  1316  have  been 
found,  translated  into  Italian,  in  a  MS.  of  the  Magliabecchian  Library,  by  Prof. 
Tocco,  who  describes  them  in  the  Archivio  Storico  Italiano,  1886,  No.  6,  and  in 
the  Giornale  Storico  della  Lett.  Ital.  VIII.  3. 

*  Pelayo,  Heterodoxos  Espanoles,  I.  500-2. — Jo.  de  Rupesciss.  Vade  raecum 


JUAN    DE    PERA-TALLADA.  §7 

The  ostensible  cause  of  his  punishment  was  his  Joachitic  spec- 
ulation as  to  Antichrist,  though,  as  Wadding  observes,  many  holy 
men  did  the  same  without  animadversion,  like  St.  Vicente  Ferrer, 
who  in  1412  not  only  predicted  Antichrist,  but  asserted  that  he 
was  already  nine  years  old,  and  who  was  canonized,  not  persecuted. 
Milicz  of  Cremsier  also,  as  Ave  have  seen,  though  persecuted,  was 
acquitted.  Fray  Juan's  reveries,  however,  trenched  on  the  borders 
of  the  Everlasting  Gospel,  although  keeping  within  the  bounds  of 
orthodoxy.  In  his  prison,  in  November,  1349,  he  wrote  out  an 
account  of  a  miraculous  vision  vouchsafed  him  in  1345,  in  return 
for  continued  prayer  and  maceration.  Louis  of  Bavaria  was  the 
Antichrist  who  would  subjugate  Europe  and  Africa  in  1366,  while 
a  similar  tyrant  would  arise  in  Asia.  Then  would  come  a  schism 
with  two  popes ;  Antichrist  would  lord  it  over  the  whole  earth 
and  many  heretical  sects  would  arise.  After  the  death  of  Anti- 
christ would  follow  fifty-five  years  of  war ;  the  Jews  would  be 
converted,  and  with  the  destruction  of  the  kingdom  of  Antichrist 
the  Millennium  would  open.  Then  the  converted  Jews  would  pos- 
sess the  world,  all  would  be  Tertiaries  of  St.  Francis,  and  the 
Franciscans  would  be  models  of  holiness  and  poverty.  The  her- 
etics would  take  refuge  in  inaccessible  mountains  and  the  islands 
of  the  sea,  whence  they  would  emerge  at  the  close  of  the  Millen- 
nium ;  the  second  Antichrist  would  appear  and  bring  a  period  of 
great  suffering,  until  fire  would  fall  from  heaven  and  destroy  him 
and  his  followers,  after  which  would  follow  the  end  of  the  world 
and  the  Day  of  Judgment.* 

Meditation  in  prison  seems  to  have  modified  somewhat  his  pro- 
phetic vision,  and  in  1356  he  wrote  his  Vade  mecum  in  Tribula- 
tione,  in  which  he  foretold  that  the  vices  of  the  clergy  would  lead 
to  the  speedy  spoliation  of  the  Church ;  in  six  years  it  would  be 
reduced  to  a  state  of  apostolical  poverty,  and  by  1370  would  com- 
mence the  process  of  recuperation  which  would  bring  all  mankind 
under  the  domination  of  Christ  and  of  his  earthly  representative 

(Fascic.  Rer.  Expetend.  et  Fugiend.  II.  497).— Froissart,  Liv.  I.  P.  ii.  ch.  124 
Liv.  in.  ch.  27.— Rolewink  Fascic.  Temp.  ann.  1364.— Mag.  Chron.  Belgic.  (Pis 
torii  III.  336).— Meyeri  Anna!.  Flandr.  ann.  1359.  —  Henr.  Rebdorff.  Annal.  ann 
1351.— Paul  ^Emylii  de  Reb.  Gest.  Francor.  (Ed.  1569,  pp.  491-2).— M.  Flac 
Illyr.  Cat.  Test.  Veritat.  Lib.  xvnr.  p.  1786  (Ed.  1608). 
*  Wadding,  ann.  1357,  No.  17.— Pelayo,  op.  cit.  I.  501-2. 


88  THE    SPIRITUAL    FRANCISCANS. 

During  the  interval  there  would  be  a  succession  of  the  direst  calam- 
ities. From  1360  to  1365  the  worms  of  the  earth  would  arise  and 
destroy  all  beasts  and  birds ;  tempest  and  deluge  and  earthquake, 
famine  and  pestilence  and  war  would  sweep  away  the  wicked ;  in 
1365  Antichrist  would  come,  and  such  multitudes  would  apostatize 
that  but  few  faithful  would  be  left.  His  reign  would  be  short, 
and  in  1370  a  pope  canonically  elected  would  bring  mankind  to 
Christianity,  after  which  all  cardinals  would  be  chosen  from  the 
Greek  Church.  During  these  tribulations  the  Franciscans  would 
be  nearly  exterminated,  in  punishment  for  their  relaxation  of  the 
Rule,  but  the  survivors  would  be  reformed  and  the  Order  would 
fill  the  earth,  innumerable  as  the  stars  of  heaven ;  in  fact,  two 
Franciscans  of  the  most  abject  poverty  were  to  be  the  Elias  and 
Enoch  who  would  conduct  the  Church  through  that  disastrous 
time.  Meanwhile  he  advised  that  ample  store  should  be  made  in 
mountain  caves  of  beans  and  honey,  salt  meats,  and  dried  fruits  by 
those  who  desired  to  live  through  the  convulsions  of  nature  and  soci- 
ety. After  the  death  of  Antichrist  would  come  the  Millennium ;  for 
seven  hundred  years,  or  until  about  a.d.  2000,  mankind  would  be 
virtuous  and  happy,  but  then  would  come  a  decline :  existing  vices, 
especially  among  the  clergy,  would  be  revived,  preparatory  to  the 
advent  of  Gog  and  Magog,  to  be  followed  by  the  final  Antichrist. 
It  shows  the  sensitiveness  of  the  hierarchy  that  this  harmless 
nympholepsy  was  deemed  worthy  of  severe  repression.* 

The  influence  of  the  Everlasting  Gospel  was  not  yet  wholty 
exhausted.  I  have  alluded  above  to  Thomas  of  Apulia,  who  in 
1388  insisted  on  preaching  to  the  Parisians  that  the  reign  of  the 
Holy  Ghost  had  commenced,  and  that  he  was  the  divinely  com- 
missioned envoy  sent  to  announce  it,  when  his  mission  was  hu- 
manely cut  short  by  confining  him  as  a  madman.  Singularly 
identical  in  all  but  the  result  was  the  career  of  Nicholas  of  Buldes- 
dorf,  who,  about  1445,  proclaimed  that  God  had  commanded  him  to 
announce  that  the  time  of  the  New  Testament  had  passed  away, 
as  that  of  the  Old  had  done  ;  that  the  Third  Era  and  Seventh  Age 
of  the  world  had  come,  under  the  reign  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  when 
man  would  be  restored  to  the  state  of  primal  innocence ;  and  that 
he  was  the  Son  of  God  deputed  to  spread  the  glad  tidings.     To 

*  Fascic.  Rer.  Expetend.  et  Fugiend.  II.  494-508. 


ECHOES    OF    JOACHITISM.  89 

the  council  still  sitting  at  Basle  he  sent  various  tracts  containing 
these  doctrines,  and  he  finally  had  the  audacity  to  appear  before 
it  in  person.  His  writings  were  promptly  consigned  to  the  flames 
and  he  was  imprisoned.  Every  effort  was  made  to  induce  him  to 
recant,  but  in  vain.  The  Basilian  fathers  were  less  considerate  of 
insanity  than  the  Paris  doctors,  and  Nicholas  perished  at  the  stake 
in  1446.* 

A  last  echo  of  the  Everlasting  Gospel  is  heard  in  the  teaching 
of  two  brothers,  John  and  Lewin  of  Wiirzburg,  who  in  1466  taught 
in  Eger  that  all  tribulations  were  caused  by  the  wickedness  of  the 
clergy.  The  pope  was  Antichrist,  and  the  cardinals  and  prelates 
were  his  members.  Indulgences  were  useless  and  the  ceremonies 
of  the  Church  were  vanities,  but  the  time  of  deliverance  was  at 
hand.  A  man  was  already  born  of  a  virgin,  who  was  the  anoint- 
ed of  Christ  and  would  speedily  come  with  the  third  Evangel 
and  bring  all  the  faithful  into  the  fold.  The  heresy  was  rapidly 
and  secretly  spreading  among  the  people,  when  it  was  discovered 
by  Bishop  Henry  of  Ratisbon.  The  measures  taken  for  its  sup- 
pression are  not  recorded,  and  the  incident  is  only  of  interest  as 
showing  how  persistently  the  conviction  reappeared  that  there 
must  be  a  final  and  higher  revelation  to  secure  the  happiness  of 
man  in  this  world  and  his  salvation  in  the  next.f 


*  Fiiesslius  neue  u.  unpartheyische  Kirchen-  u.  Ketzerhistorie,  Frankfurt,1772, 
II.  63-66. 

f  Chron.  Glassberger  ann.  1466  (Analecta  Franciscana  II.  422-6). 


CHAPTEE  II. 

GUGLIELMA  AND  DOLCINO. 

The  spiritual  exaltation  which  produced  among  the  Franciscans 
the  developments  described  in  the  last  chapter  was  by  no  means 
confined  to  the  recognized  members  of  that  Order.  It  manifested 
itself  in  even  more  irregular  fashion  in  the  little  group  of  sectaries 
known  as  Guglieimites,  and  in  the  more  formidable  demonstration 
of  the  Dolcinists,  or  Apostolic  Brethren. 

About  the  year  1260  there  came  to  Milan  a  woman  calling 
herself  Guglielma.  That  she  brought  with  her  a  son  shows  that 
she  had  lived  in  the  world,  and  was  doubtless  tried  with  its  vicissi- 
tudes, and  as  the  child  makes  no  further  appearance  in  her  history, 
he  probably  died  young.  She  had  wealth,  and  was  said  to  be  the 
daughter  of  Constance,  queen  and  wife  of  the  King  of  Bohemia. 
Her  royal  extraction  is  questionable,  but  the  matter  is  scarce  worth 
the  discussion  which  it  has  provoked.*  She  was  a  woman  of  pre- 
eminent piety,  who  devoted  herself  to  good  works,  without  prac- 
tising special  austerities,  and  she  gradually  attracted  around  her  a 
little  band  of  disciples,  to  whom  such  of  her  utterances  as  have 
been  recorded  show  that  she  gave  wholesome  ethical  instruction. 


*  Constance,  daughter  of  Bela  III.  of  Hungary,  was  second  wife  of  Ottokar  I. 
of  Bohemia,  who  died  in  1230  at  the  age  of  eighty.  She  died  in  1240,  leaving 
three  daughters,  Agnes,  who  founded  the  Franciscan  convent  of  St.  Januarius 
in  Prague,  which  she  entered  May  18,  1236;  Beatrice,  who  married  Otho  the 
Pious,  of  Brandenburg,  and  Ludomilla,  who  married  Louis  I.  of  Bavaria.  Gugli- 
elma  can  scarce  have  been  either  of  these  (Art  de  Ver.  les  Dates,  VIII.  17). 
Her  disciple,  Andrea  Saramita,  testified  that  after  her  death  he  journeyed  to 
Bohemia  to  obtain  reimbursement  of  certain  expenses;  he  failed  in  his  errand, 
but  verified  her  relationship  to  the  royal  house  of  Bohemia  (Andrea  Ogniben,  I 
Guglielmiti  del  Secolo  XIII.,  Perugia,  1867,  pp.  10-11). — On  the  other  hand,  a 
German  contemporary  chronicler  asserts  that  she  came  from  England  (Annal. 
Dominican.  Colmariens.  ann.  1301—  Urstisii  III.  33). 


THE    GUGLIELM1TES.  91 

They  adopted  the  style  of  plain  broAvn  garment  which  she  habitu- 
ally wore,  and  seem  to  have  formed  a  kind  of  unorganized  congre- 
gation, bound  together  only  by  common  devotion  to  her.* 

At  that  period  it  was  not  easy  to  set  bounds  to  veneration ;  the 
spiritual  world  was  felt  to  be  in  the  closest  relation  with  the  ma- 
terial, and  the  development  of  Joachitism  shows  how  readily  re- 
ceived were  suggestions  that  a  great  change  was  impending,  and  a 
new  era  about  to  open  for  mankind.  Guglielma's  devotees  came 
to  regard  her  as  a  saint,  gifted  with  thaumaturgic  power.  Some 
of  her  disciples  claimed  to  be  miraculously  cured  by  her — Dr. 
Giacobbe  da  Ferno  of  an  ophthalmic  trouble,  and  Albertono  de' 
Novati  of  a  fistula.  Then  it  was  said  that  she  had  received  the 
supereminent  honor  of  the  Stigmata,  and  although  those  who  pre- 
pared her  body  for  the  grave  could  not  see  them,  this  was  held  to 
be  owing  to  their  unworthiness.  It  was  confidently  predicted 
that  she  would  convert  the  Jews  and  Saracens,  and  bring  all  man- 
kind into  unity  of  faith.  At  last,  about  1276,  some  of  the  more 
enthusiastic  disciples  began  to  whisper  that  she  was  the  incarna- 
tion of  the  Holy  Ghost,  in  female  form — the  Third  Person  of  the 
Trinity,  as  Christ  was  of  the  Second,  in  the  shape  of  a  man.  She 
was  very  God  and  very  man ;  it  was  not  alone  the  body  of  Christ 
which  suffered  in  the  Passion,  but  also  that  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  so 
that  her  flesh  was  the  same  as  that  of  Christ.  The  originators  of 
this  strange  belief  seem  to  have  been  Andrea  Saramita,  a  man  of 
standing  in  Milan,  and  Suor  Maifreda  di  Pirovano,  an  Umiliata  of 
the  ancient  convent  of  Biassono,  and  a  cousin  of  Matteo  Yisconti. 
There  is  no  probability  that  Guglielma  countenanced  these  absurd 
stories.  Andrea  Saramita  was  the  only  witness  who  asserted  that 
he  had  them  from  her  direct,  and  he  had  a  few  days  before  testified 
to  the  contrary.  The  other  immediate  disciples  of  Guglielma  stated 
that  she  made  no  pretensions  to  any  supernatural  character.  When 
people  would  ask  her  to  cure  them  or  relieve  them  of  trouble  she 
would  say,  "  Go,  I  am  not  God."  When  told  of  the  strange  beliefs 
entertained  of  her  she  strenuously  asserted  that  she  was  only  a 
miserable  woman  and  a  vile  worm.  Marchisio  Secco,  a  monk  of 
Chiaravalle,  testified  that  he  had  had  a  dispute  with  Andrea  on 
the  subject,  and  they  agreed  to  refer  it  to  her,  when  she  indig- 


*  Ogniben,  op.  cit.  pp.  56,  73-5, 103-4. 


92  GUGLIELMA    AND   DOLCINO. 

nantly  replied  that  she  was  flesh  and  bone,  that  she  had  brought 
a  son  with  her  to  Milan,  and  that  if  they  did  not  do  penance  tor 
uttering"  such  words  thev  would  be  condemned  to  hell.  Yet,  to 
minds  familiar  with  the  promises  of  the  Everlasting  Gospel,  it 
might  well  seem  that  the  era  of  the  Holy  Ghost  would  be  ushered 
in  with  such  an  incarnation." 

Guglielma  died  August  24,  1381,  leaving  her  property  to  the 
great  Cistercian  house  of  Chiaravalle,  near  Milan,  where  she  de- 
sired to  be  buried.  There  was  war  at  the  time  between  Milan  and 
Lodi ;  the  roads  were  not  safe,  and  she  was  temporarily  interred  in 
the  city,  while  Andrea  and  Dionisio  Cotta  went  to  the  Marquis  of 
Montferrat  to  ask  for  an  escort  of  troops  to  accompany  the  cortege. 
The  translation  of  the  body  took  place  in  October,  and  was  con- 
ducted with  great  splendor.  The  Cistercians  welcomed  the  oppor- 
tunity to  add  to  the  attractions  and  revenues  of  their  establish- 
ment. At  that  period  the  business  of  exploiting  new  saints  was 
exceedingly  profitable,  and  was  prosecuted  with  corresponding 
energy.  Salimbene  complains  bitterly  of  it  in  referring  to  a 
speculation  made  in  1279,  at  Cremona,  out  of  the  remains  of  a 
drunken  vintner  named  Alberto,  whose  cult  brought  crowds  of 
devotees  with  offerings,  to  the  no  small  gain  of  all  concerned. 
Such  things,  as  we  have  seen  in  the  case  of  Armanno  Pongilupo 
and  others,  were  constantly  occurring,  though  Salimbene  declares 
that  the  canons  forbade  the  veneration  of  any  one,  or  picturing 
him  as  a  saint,  until  the  Roman  Church  had  authoritatively  passed 
upon  his  claims.  In  this  Salimbene  was  mistaken.  Zanghino 
Ugolini,  a  much  better  authority,  assures  us  that  the  worship  of 
uncanonized  saints  was  not  heretical,  if  it  were  believed  that  their 
miracles  were  worked  by  God  at  their  intercession,  but  if  it  were 
believed  that  they  were  worked  by  the  relics  without  the  assent 
of  God,  then  the  Inquisition  could  intervene  and  punish ;  but  so 
long  as  a  saint  was  uncanonized  his  cult  was  at  the  discretion  of 
the  bishop,  who  could  at  any  time  command  its  cessation,  and  the 

*  Ogniben.  op.  cit.  pp.  12.  20-1,  35-7.  69.  70.  74,  76,  82,  84-6,  101,  104-6,  116. 

Dr.  Andrea  Ogniben,  to  whom  we  are  indebted  for  the  publication  of  the 
fragmentary  remains  of  the  trial  of  the  Guglielmites,  thinks  that  Maifreda  di 
Pirovano  was  a  cousin  of  Matteo  Visconti,  through  his  mother,  Anastasia  di 
Pirovano  (op.  cit.  p.  23).  The  Continuation  of  Nangis  calls  her  his  half-sister 
(Guillel.  Nangiac.  Contin.  ann.  1317). 


THE    GUGLIELMITES.  93 

mere  fact  that  miracles  were  performed  was  no  evidence,  as  they 
are  frequently  the  work  of  demons  to  deceive  the  faithful.* 

In  this  case  the  Archbishop  of  Milan  offered  no  interference, 
and  the  worship  of  Guglielma  was  soon  firmly  established.  A 
month  after  the  translation  Andrea  had  the  body  exhumed  and 
carried  into  the  church,  where  he  washed  it  with  wine  and  water 
and  arrayed  it  in  a  splendid  embroidered  robe.  The  washings 
were  carefully  preserved,  to  be  used  as  a  chrism  for  the  sick ;  they 
were  placed  on  the  altar  of  the  nunnery  of  Biassono,  and  Maifreda 
employed  them  in  anointing  the  affected  parts  of  those  who  came 
to  be  healed.  Presently  a  chapel  with  an  altar  arose  over  her 
tomb,  and  tradition  still  points  out  at  Chiaravalle  the  little  oratory 
where  she  is  said  to  have  lain,  and  a  portrait  on  the  wall  over  the 
vacant  tomb  is  asserted  to  be  hers.  It  represents  her  as  kneeling 
before  the  Virgin,  to  wdiom  she  is  presented  by  St.  Bernard,  the 
patron  of  the  abbey ;  a  crowd  of  other  figures  is  around  her,  and 
the  whole  indicates  that  those  who  dedicated  it  to  her  represented 
her  as  merely  a  saint,  and  not  as  an  incarnation  of  the  Godhead. 
Another  picture  of  her  was  placed  by  Dionisio  Cotta  in  the 
Church  of  St.  Maria  fuori  di  Porta  Nuova,  and  two  lamps  were 
kept  burning  before  it  to  obtain  her  suffrage  for  the  soul  of  his 
brother  interred  there.  Other  pictures  were  hung  in  the  Church 
of  S.  Eufemia  and  in  the  nunnery  of  Biassono.  In  all  this  the  good 
monks  of  Chiaravalle  were  not  remiss.  They  kept  lighted  lamps 
before  her  altar.  Two  feast-days  wTere  assigned  to  her — the  anni- 
versaries of  her  death  and  of  her  translation — when  the  devotees 
would  assemble  at  the  abbey,  and  the  monks  would  furnish  a 
simple  banquet,  outside  of  the  walls — for  the  Cistercian  rules  for- 
bade the  profanation  of  a  woman's  presence  within  the  sacred 
enclosure — and  some  of  the  monks  would  discourse  eloquently  upon 
the  saintliness  of  Guglielma,  comparing  her  to  other  saints  and  to 
the  moon  and  stars,  and  receiving  such  oblations  as  the  piety  of 
the  worshippers  would  offer.  Nor  was  this  the  only  gain  to  the 
abbey.  Giacobbe  de'  JNovati,  one  of  the  believers,  belonged  to  one 
of  the  noblest  families  of  Milan,  and  at  his  castle  the  Guglielmites 


*  Ogniben,  op.  cit.  pp.  30,44, 115.—  Salimbene  Chronica,  pp.  274-6.—  Chron. 
Parmens.  aim.  1279  (Muratori  S.  K.  I.  IX.  791-2).— Zanchini  Tract,  de  Hseret.  c. 
xxii. 


94  GUGLIELMA   AND   DOLCINO. 

were  wont  to  assemble.  When  he  died  he  instituted  the  abbey 
as  his  heir,  and  the  inheritance  could  not  have  been  inconsider- 
able. There  were,  doubtless,  other  instances  of  similar  liberality 
of  which  the  evidences  have  not  reached  us.* 

All  this  was  innocent  enough,  but  within  the  circle  of  those 
who  worshipped  Guglielma  there  was  a  little  band  of  initiated 
who  believed  in  her  as  the  incarnation  of  the  Holy  Ghost.  The 
history  of  the  Joachites  has  shown  us  the  readiness  which  existed 
to  look  upon  Christianity  as  a  temporary  phase  of  religion,  to 
be  shortly  succeeded  by  the  reign  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  when  the 
Church  of  Rome  would  give  place  to  a  new  and  higher  organiza- 
tion. It  was  not  difficult,  therefore,  for.  the  Guglielmites  to  per- 
suade themselves  that  they  had  enjoyed  the  society  of  the  Para- 
clete, who  was  shortly  to  appear,  when  the  Holy  Spirit  would  be 
received  in  tongues  of  flame  by  the  disciples,  the  heathen  and  the 
Jew  would  be  converted,  and  there  would  be  a  new  church  usher- 
ing in  the  era  of  love  and  blessedness,  for  which  man  had  been 
sighing  through  the  weary  centuries.  Of  this  doctrine  Andrea 
was  chief  apostle.  He  claimed  to  be  the  first  and  only  spiritual 
son  of  Guglielma,  from  whom  he  had  received  the  revelation,  and 
he  embroidered  it  to  suit  the  credulity  of  the  disciples.  The  Arch- 
angel Raphael  had  announced  to  the  blessed  Constance  the  incar- 
nation in  her  of  the  Holy  Ghost ;  a  year  afterwards,  Guglielma 
was  born  on  the  holy  day  of  Pentecost ;  she  had  chosen  the  form 
of  a  woman,  for  if  she  had  come  as  man  she  would  have  died  like 
Christ,  and  the  whole  world  would  have  perished.  On  one  occa- 
sion, in  her  chamber,  she  had  changed  a  chair  into  an  ox,  and  had 
told  him  to  hold  it  if  he  could,  but  when  he  attempted  to  do  so  it 
disappeared.  The  same  indulgences  were  obtainable  by  visiting 
her  tomb  at  Chiaravalle  as  by  a  pilgrimage  to  the  Holy  Sepulchre. 
Wafers  which  had  been  consecrated  by  laying  them  on  the  tomb 
were  eagerly  partaken  of  by  the  disciples,  as  a  new  form  of  com- 
munion. Besides  the  two  regular  feast-days,  there  was  a  third  for 
the  initiated,  significantly  held  on  Pentecost,  the  day  when  she 
was  expected  to  reappear.  Meanwhile,  the  devotion  of  the  faith- 
ful was  stimulated  by  stories  of  her  being  in  communication  with 


*  Ogniben,  op.  cit.  pp.  20-1,  25-6,  31,  36,  49-50,  56-7,  61,  72-3,  74,  93-4, 104, 
116.—  Tamburini,  Storia  dell'  Inquisizione,  II.  17-18. 


THE    GUGLIELMITES.  95 

her  representatives,  both  in  her  own  form  and  in  that  of  a  dove. 
How  slight  wras  the  evidence  required  for  believers  was  seen  in  an 
incident  which  gave  them  great  comfort  in  1293.  At  a  banquet 
in  the  house  of  Giacobbe  da  Ferno,  a  warm  discussion  arose  be- 
tween those  who  doubted  and  those  whose  convictions  were 
decided.  Carabella,  wife  of  Amizzone  Toscano,  one  of  the  earnest 
believers,  was  sitting  on  her  mantle,  and  when  she  arose  she  found 
three  knots  in  the  cords  which  had  not  been  there  before.  This 
was  at  once  pronounced  a  great  miracle,  and  was  evidently  re- 
garded as  a  full  confirmation  of  the  truth.* 

If  it  were  not  for  the  tragedy  which  followed  there  would  be 
nothing  to  render  Guglielmitism  other  than  a  jest,  for  the  Church 
which  was  to  replace  the  massive  structure  of  Latin  Christianity 
was  as  ludicrous  in  its  conception  as  these  details  of  its  faith.  The 
Gospels  were  to  be  replaced  by  sacred  writings  produced  by  An- 
drea, of  which  he  had  already  prepared  several,  in  the  names  of 
some  of  the  initiated — "  The  Epistle  of  Sibilia  to  the  JNTovaresi," 
"  The  Prophecy  of  Carmeo  the  Prophet  to  all  Cities  and  Nations," 
and  an  account  of  Guglielma's  teachings  commencing,  "In  that 
time  the  Holy  Ghost  said  to  his  disciples."  Maifreda  also  com- 
posed litanies  of  the  Holy  Ghost  and  prayers  for  the  use  of  the 
Church.  When,  on  the  second  advent  of  Guglielma,  the  papacy 
was  to  pass  away,  Maifreda  was  to  become  pope,  the  vicar  of  the 
Holy  Ghost,  with  the  keys  of  heaven  and  hell,  and  baptize  the 
Jew  and  the  Saracen.  A  new  college  of  cardinals  was  to  be  formed, 
of  whom  only  one  appears  to  have  been  selected — a  girl  named 
Taria,  who,  to  judge  from  her  answers  when  before  the  Inquisi- 
tion, and  the  terms  of  contempt  in  which  she  is  alluded  to  by  some 
of  the  sect,  was  a  worthy  representative  of  the  whole  absurd 
scheme.  While  awaiting  her  exaltation  to  the  papacy  Maifreda 
wTas  the  object  of  special  veneration.  The  disciples  kissed  her 
hands  and  feet,  and  she  gave  them  her  blessing.  It  was  probably 
the  spiritual  excitement  caused  by  the  jubilee  proclaimed  by  Boni- 
face VIII. ,  attracting  pilgrims  to  Rome  by  the  hundred  thousand 
to  gain  the  proffered  indulgences,  which  led  the  Guglielmites  to 
name  the  Pentecost  of  1300  for  the  advent  of  the  Holy  Ghost. 
With  a  curious  manifestation  of  materialism,  the  worshippers  pre- 

#  Ogniben,  op.  cit  pp.  21,  25,  30,  36, 55.  70,  72, 96.101. 


96  GUGLIELMA   ASD   DOLCINO. 

pared  splendid  garments  for  the  adornment  of  the  expected  God — 
a  purple  mantle  with  a  silver  clasp  costing  thirty  pounds  of  ter- 
zioli,  gold-embroidered  silks  and  gilt  slippers — while  Pietra  de'  Al~ 
zate  contributed  forty -two  dozen  pearls,  and  Catella  de'  Giorgi 
gave  an  ounce  of  pearls.  In  preparation  for  her  new  and  holy 
functions,  Maifreda  undertook  to  celebrate  the  mysteries  of  the 
mass.  During  the  solemnities  of  Easter,  in  sacerdotal  vestments, 
she  consecrated  the  host,  while  Andrea  in  a  dalmatic  read  the 
Gospel,  and  she  administered  communion  to  those  present.  When 
should  come  the  resurrection  of  Guglielma,  she  was  to  repeat  the 
ceremony  in  S.  Maria  Maggiore,  and  the  sacred  vessels  were  al- 
ready prepared  for  this,  on  an  extravagant  scale,  costing  more 
than  two  hundred  lire." 

The  sums  thus  lavished  show  that  the  devotees  belonged  to 
the  wealthy  class.  AVhat  is  most  noteworthy,  in  fact,  in  the  whole 
story,  is  that  a  belief  so  absurd  should  have  found  acceptance 
among  men  of  culture  and  intelligence,  showing  the  spirit  of  un- 
rest that  was  abroad,  and  the  readiness  to  accept  any  promise, 
however  wild,  of  relief  from  existing  evils.  There  were  few  more 
prominent  families  in  Milan  than  the  Garbagnati,  who  were  Ghibel- 
lines  and  closely  allied  with  the  Visconti.  Gasparo  Garbagnate 
filled  many  positions  of  importance,  and  though  his  name  does  not 
appear  among  the  sectaries,  his  wife  Benvenuta  was  one  of  them, 
as  well  as  his  two  sons,  Ottorino  and  Francesco,  and  Bella,  the 
wife  of  Giacobbe.  Francesco  was  a  man  of  mark  as  a  diplomat 
and  a  lawyer.  Sent  by  Matteo  Yisconti  in  1309  on  a  mission  to 
the  Emperor  Henry  TIL,  he  won  high  favor  at  the  imperial  court 
and  obtained  the  objects  for  which  he  had  been  despatched.  He 
ended  his  career  as  a  professor  of  jurisprudence  in  the  renowned 
University  of  Padua.  Yet  this  man,  presumably  learned  and  cool- 
headed,  was  an  ardent  disciple,  who  purchased  gold-embroidered 
silks  for  the  resurrection  of  Guglielma,  and  composed  prayers  in 
her  honor.  One  of  the  crimes  for  which  Matteo  was  condemned 
in  1323  by  the  Inquisition  was  retaining  in  his  service  this  Fran- 
cesco Garbagnate,  who  had  been  sentenced  to  wear  crosses  for  his 
participation  in  the  Guglielmite  heresy ;  and  when  John  XXII.,  in 


*  Ogniben,  op.  cit.  pp.  17,  20,  22,  23,  30,  34,  37,  40,  42,  47,  54,  62,  72,  80,  90, 
94,  96. 


THE    GUGLIELMITES.  97 

1324:,  confirmed  the  sentence,  he  added  that  Matteo  had  terrorized 
the  inquisitors  to  save  his  son  Galeazzo,  who  was  also  a  Gugliel- 
mite.* 

When  the  heresy  became  known  popular  rumor  of  course  at- 
tributed to  it  the  customary  practices  of  indiscriminate  sexual  in- 
dulgence which  were  ascribed  to  all  deviations  from  the  faith. 
In  the  legend  which  was  handed  down  by  tradition  there  appears 
the  same  story  as  to  its  discovery  which  we  have  seen  told  at 
Cologne  about  the  Brethren  of  the  Free  Spirit — of  the  husband 
tracking  his  wife  to  the  nocturnal  rendezvous,  and  thus  learning 
the  obscene  practices  of  the  sect.  In  this  case  the  hero  of  the 
tale  is  Corrado  Coppa,  whose  wife  Giacobba  was  an  earnest  be- 
liever, f  It  is  sufficient  to  say  that  the  official  reports  of  the  trial, 
in  so  far  as  they  have  reached  us,  contain  no  allusions  whatever 
to  any  licentious  doctrines  or  practices.  The  inquisitors  wasted 
no  time  on  inquiries  in  that  direction,  showing  that  they  knew 
there  was  nothing  of  the  kind  to  reward  investigation. 

Numerically  speaking,  the  sect  was  insignificant.  It  is  men- 
tioned that  on  one  occasion,  at  a  banquet  in  honor  of  Guglielma, 
given  by  the  monks  of  Chiaravalle,  there  were  one  hundred  and 
twenty -nine  persons  present,  but  these  doubtless  included  many 
who  only  reverenced  her  as  a  saint.  The  inner  circle  of  the  ini- 
tiated was  apparently  much  smaller.  The  names  of  those  incul- 
pated in  the  confessions  before  the  Inquisition  amount  only  to 
about  thirty,  and  it  is  fair  to  assume  that  the  number  of  the  sec- 
taries at  no  time  exceeded  thirty-five  or  forty 4 

It  is  not  to  be  supposed  that  this  could  go  on  for  nearly  twenty 
years  and  wholly  escape  the  vigilance  of  the  Milanese  inquisitors. 
In  1284,  but  a  few  years  after  Guglielma's  death,  two  of  the  dis- 
ciples, Allegranza  and  Carabella,  incautiously  revealed  the  myste- 
ries of  their  faith  to  Belfiore,  mother  of  Fra  Enrico  di  Nova,  who 
at  once  conveyed  it  to  the  inquisitor,  Fra  Manfredo  di  Dona  via. 
Andrea  was  forthwith  summoned,  with  his  wife  Riccadona,  his 
sister,  Migliore,  and  his  daughter,  Fiord ebellina ;  also  Maifreda, 

*  Ogniben,  op.  cit.  pp.  65-7,  83-4,  90-1,  110.— Ughelli,  T.  IV.  pp.  286-93  (Ed. 
1652).— Raynald.  ann.  1324,  No.  7-11. 

t  Philip.  Bergomat.  Supplem.  Chron.  ann.  1298.— Bern.  Corio  Hist,  Milanes. 
ann.  1300. 

I  Ogniben,  op.  cit.  pp.  1,  2,  34,  74,  110.—  Tainburini,  op.  cit.  II.  67-8. 

III.— 7 


98  GUGLIELMA   AND   DOLCINO. 

Bellacara  de'  Carentani,  Giacobba  dei  Bassani,  and  possibly  some 
others.  They  readily  abjured  and  were  treated  with  exceptional 
mildness,  for  Fra  Manfredo  absolved  them  by  striking  them  over 
the  shoulders  with  a  stick,  as  a  symbol  of  the  scourging  which  as 
penitents  they  had  incurred.  He  seems  to  have  attached  little 
importance  to  the  matter,  and  not  to  have  compelled  them  to 
reveal  their  accomplices.  Again,  in  1295  and  1296,  there  was  an 
investigation  made  by  the  Inquisitor  Fra  Tommaso  di  Como,  of 
which  no  details  have  reached  us,  but  which  evidently  left  the 
leaders  unharmed.* 

We  do  not  know  what  called  the  attention  of  the  Inquisition  to 
the  sect  in  the  spring  of  1300,  but  we  may  conjecture  that  the  ex- 
pected resurrection  of  Guglielma  at  the  coming  Pentecost,  and  the 
preparations  made  for  that  event,  caused  an  agitation  among  the 
disciples  leading  possibly  to  incautious  revelations.  About  Easter 
(April  10)  the  inquisitors  summoned  and  examined  Maifreda,  Gia- 
cobba dei  Bassani,  and  possibly  some  others,  but  without  result. 
Apparently,  however,  they  were  watched,  secret  information  was 
gathered,  and  in  July  the  Holy  Office  was  ready  to  strike  effec- 
tively. On  July  18  a  certain  Fra  Ghirardo  presented  himself  to 
Lanfranco  de'  Amizzoni  and  revealed  the  whole  affair,  with  the 
names  of  the  principal  disciples.  Andrea  sought  him  out  and  en- 
deavored to  learn  what  he  had  said,  but  was  merely  told  to  look 
to  himself,  for  the  inquisitors  were  making  many  threats.  On  the 
20th  Andrea  was  summoned ;  his  assurances  that  he  had  never 
heard  that  Guglielma  was  regarded  -as  more  than  an  ordinary 
saint  were  apparently  accepted,  and  he  was  dismissed  with  or- 
ders to  return  the  next  day  and  meanwhile  to  preserve  absolute 
secrecy,  f 

Andrea  and  Maifreda  were  thoroughly  frightened ;  they  begged 
the  disciples,  if  called  before  the  inquisitors,  to  preserve  silence 
with  regard  to  them,  as  otherwise  they  could  not  escape  death. 
It  is  a  peculiar  illustration  of  the  recognized  hostility  between  the 
two  Mendicant  Orders  that  the  first  impulse  was  to  seek  assist- 
ance from  the  Franciscans.  Xo  sooner  were  the  citations  issued 
than  Andrea,  with  the  Doctor  Beltramo  da  Ferno,  one  of  the  ear- 


*  Ogniben,  pp.  14,  23,  33,  36,  39,  60,  72,  101, 110, 114. 
t  Ibid.  pp.  13,30-33,39. 


THE    GUGLIELMITES.  99 

nest  believers,  went  to  the  Franciscan  convent,  where  they  learned 
from  Fra  Daniele  da  Ferno  that  Fra  Guidone  de  Cocchenato  and 
the  rest  of  the  inquisitors  had  no  power  to  act,  as  their  commis- 
sions had  been  annulled  by  the  pope,  and  that  Fra  Pagano  di  Pie- 
tra  Santa  had  a  bull  to  that  effect.  Some  intrigue  would  seem  to 
be  behind  this,  which  it  would  be  interesting  to  disentangle,  for 
we  meet  here  with  old  acquaintances.  Fra  Guidone  is  doubtless 
the  same  inquisitor  whom  we  have  seen  in  1279  participating  in 
the  punishment  of  Corrado  da  Yenosta,  and  Fra  Pagano  has  come 
before  us  as  the  subject  of  a  prosecution  for  heresy  in  1295.  Pos- 
sibly it  was  this  which  now  stimulated  his  zeal  against  the  inquisi- 
tors, for  when  the  Guglielmites  called  upon  him  the  next  day  he 
produced  the  bull  and  urged  them  to  appear,  and  thus  afford  him 
evidence  that  the  inquisitors  were  discharging  their  functions — 
evidence  for  which  he  said  that  he  would  willingly  give  twenty- 
five  lire.  It  is  a  striking  proof  of  the  impenetrable  secrecy  in 
which  the  operations  of  the  Inquisition  were  veiled  that  he  had 
been  anxiously  and  vainly  seeking  to  obtain  testimony  as  to  who 
were  really  discharging  the  duties  of  the  tribunal ;  when,  latterly, 
a  heretic  had  been  burned  at  Balsemo  he  had  sent  thither  to  find 
out  who  had  rendered  the  sentence,  but  was  unable  to  do  so. 
Then  the  Guglielmites  applied  to  the  Abbot  of  Chiaravalle  and  to 
one  of  his  monks,  Marchisio  di  Yeddano,  himself  suspected  of  Gug- 
lielmitism.  These  asked  to  have  a  copy  of  the  bull,  and  one  was 
duly  made  by  a  notary  and  given  to  them,  which  they  took  to  the 
Archbishop  of  Milan  at  Cassano,  and  asked  him  to  place  the  in- 
vestigation of  the  matter  in  their  hands.  He  promised  to  inter- 
vene, but  if  he  did  so  he  was  probably  met  with  the  information, 
which  had  been  speedily  elicited  from  the  culprits,  that  they  held 
Boniface  VIII.  not  to  be  pope,  and  consequently  that  the  arch- 
bishop whom  he  had  created  was  not  archbishop.  Either  in  this 
or  in  some  other  way  the  prelate's  zeal  was  refrigerated,  and  he 
offered  no  opposition  to  the  proceedings.* 

*  Ogniben,  pp.  21,  40,  42,  78-9. 

Dionese  de'  Novati  deposed  (p.  93)  that  Maifreda  was  in  the  habit  of  saying 
that  Boniface  was  not  truly  pope,  and  that  another  pontiff  had  been  created. 
We  have  seen  that  the  Spiritual  Franciscans  had  gone  through  the  form  of 
electing  a  new  pope.  There  was  not  much  in  common  between  them  and  the 
Guglielmites,  and  yet  this  would  point  to  some  relations  as  existing. 


100  GUGLIELMA   AND   DOLCINO. 

The  Inquisition  was  well  manned,  for,  besides  Fra  Guidone, 
whose  age  and  experience  seem  to  have  rendered  him  the  leading 
actor  in  the  tragedy,  and  Lanfranco,  who  took  little  part  in  it,  we 
meet  with  a  third  inquisitor,  Rainerio  di  Pirovano,  and  in  their 
absence  they  are  replaced  with  deputies,  Niccold  di  Como,  Niccolo 
di  Yarenna,  and  Leonardo  da  Bergamo.  They  pushed  the  matter 
with  relentless  energy.  That  torture  was  freely  used  there  can 
be  nc  doubt.  Xo  conclusion  to  the  contrary  can  be  drawn  from 
the  absence  of  allusion  to  it  in  the  depositions  of  the  accused,  for 
this  is  customary.  Xot  only  do  the  historians  of  the  affair  speak 
without  reserve  of  its  employment,  but  the  character  of  the  suc- 
cessive examinations  of  the  leading  culprits  indicates  it  unerring- 
ly— the  confident  asseverations  at  first  of  ignorance  and  innocence, 
followed,  after  a  greater  or  less  interval,  with  unreserved  confes- 
sion. This  is  especially  notable  in  the  cases  of  those  who  had 
abjured  in  1284,  such  as  Andrea,  Maifreda,  and  Giacobba,  who, 
as  relapsed,  knew  that  by  admitting  their  persistent  heresy  they 
were  condemning  themselves  to  the  flames  without  hope  of  mercy, 
and  who  therefore  had  nothing  to  gain  by  confession,  except  ex- 
emption from  repetition  of  torment." 

The  documents  are  too  imperfect  for  us  to  reconstruct  the  proc- 
ess and  ascertain  the  fate  of  all  of  those  implicated.  In  Langue- 
doc,  after  all  the  evidence  had  been  taken,  there  would  have  been 
an  assembly  held  in  which  their  sentences  would  have  been  deter- 
mined, and  at  a  solemn  Sermo  these  would  have  been  promul- 
gated, and  the  stake  would  have  received  its  victims.  Much  less 
formal  were  the  proceedings  at  Milan.  The  only  sentence  of  which 
we  have  a  record  was  rendered  August  23  in  an  assembly  where 
the  archbishop  sat  with  the  inquisitors  and  Matteo  Yisconti  ap- 
pears among  the  assessors ;  and  in  this  the  only  judgment  was  on 
Suor  Giacobba  dei  Bassani,  who,  as  a  relapsed,  was  necessarily 
handed  over  to  the  secular  arm  for  burning.     It  would  seem  that 


*  Compare  Andrea's  first  examination,  July  20  (Ogniben,  op.  cit.  pp.  8-13), 
and  his  second,  Aug.  10  (pp.  56-7),  with  his  defiant  assertion  of  his  belief,  Aug. 
13  (pp.  68-72).  So,  Maifreda's  first  interrogatory,  July  31  (pp.  2£-6),  with  her 
confession,  Aug.  6,  and  revelation  of  the  names  of  her  worshippers  (pp.  33-5). 
Also,  Giacobba  dei  Bassani's  denial,  Aug.  3,  and  confession,  Aug.  11  (p.  39).  It 
is  the  same  with  those  not  relapsed.  See  Suor  Agnese  dei  Montanari's  flat  de- 
nial, Aug.  3,  and  her  confession,  Aug.  11  (pp.  37-8). 


THE    GUGLIELMITES. 


101 


even  before  this  Ser  Mirano  di  Garbagnate,  a  priest  deeply  impli- 
cated, had  been  burned.     Andrea  was  executed  probably  between 

September  1  and  9,  and  Maifreda  about  the  same  time but  we 

know  nothing  about  the  date  of  the  other  executions,  or  of  the 
exhumation  and  cremation  of  Guglielma's  bones — while  the  exam- 
inations of  other  disciples  continued  until  the  middle  of  October. 
Another  remarkable  peculiarity  is  that  for  the  minor  penalties 
the  inquisitors  called  in  no  experts  and  did  not  even  consult  the 
archbishop,  but  acted  wholly  at  their  own  discretion,  a  single 
frate  absolving  or  penancing  each  individual  as  he  saw  fit.  The 
Lombard  Inquisition  apparently  had  little  deference  for  the  epis- 
copate, even  of  the  Ambrosian  Church.* 

Yet  the  action  of  the  Inquisition  was  remarkable  for  its  mild- 
ness, especially  when  we  consider  the  revolutionary  character  of 
the  heresy.  The  number  of  those  absolutely  burned  cannot  be 
definitely  stated,  but  it  probably  did  not  exceed  four  or  five. 
These  were  the  survivors  of  those  who  had  abjured  in  1284,  for 
whom,  as  relapsed  and  obstinate  heretics,  there  could  be  no  mercy 
The  rest  were  allowed  to  escape  with  penalties  remarkably  light. 
Thus  Sibilia  Malcolzati  had  been  one  of  the  most  zealous  of  the 
sect ;  in  her  early  examinations  she  had  resolutely  perjured  her- 
self, and  it  had  cost  no  little  trouble  to  make  her  confess,  yet 
when,  on  October  6,  she  appeared  before  Fra  Kainerio  and  begged 
to  be  relieved  from  the  excommunication  which  she  had  incurred, 
he  was  moved  by  her  prayers  and  assented,  on  the  ordinary  con- 
ditions that  she  would  stand  to  the  orders  of  the  Church  and 
Inquisition,  and  perform  the  obligations  laid  upon  her.  Still  more 
remarkable  is  the  leniency  with  which  two  sisters,  Catella  and 
Pietra  Oldegardi,  were  treated,  for  Fra  Guidone  absolved  them  on 
their  abjuring  their  heresy,  contenting  himself  with  simply  refer- 
ring them  to  their  confessors  for  the  penance  which  they  were  to 
perform.  The  severest  punishment  recorded  for  any  except  the 
relapsed  was  the  wearing  of  crosses,  and  these,  imposed  in  Sep- 
tember and  October,  were  commuted  in  December  for  a  fine  of 
twenty-five  lire,  payable  in  February — showing  that  confiscation 
was  not  a  part  of  the  penalty.  Even  Taria,  the  expectant  cardinal 
of  the  New  Dispensation,  was  thus  penanced  and  relieved.     Im- 


*  Ogniben,  pp.  19-20,  77,  91. 


102  GUGLIELMA    AND    DOLCINO. 

mediately  after  Andrea's  execution  an  examination  of  his  wife 
Riccadona,  as  to  the  furniture  in  her  house  and  the  wine  in  her 
cellar,  shows  that  the  Inquisition  was  prompt  in  looking  after  the 
confiscations  of  those  condemned  to  death ;  and  the  fragment  of 
an  interrogatory,  February  12,  1302,  of  Marchisio  Secco,  a  monk 
of  Chiaravalle,  indicates  that  it  was  involved  in  a  struggle  with 
the  abbey  to  compel  the  refunding  of  the  bequest  of  Guglielma, 
as  the  heresy  for  which  she  had  been  condemned,  of  course,  ren- 
dered void  all  dispositions  of  her  property.  How  this  resulted  we 
have  no  means  of  knowing,  but  we  may  feel  assured  that  the  ab- 
bey was  forced  to  submit ;  indeed,  the  complicity  of  the  monks 
with  the  heretics  was  so  clearly  indicated  that  we  may  wonder 
none  of  their  names  appear  in  the  lists  of  those  condemned.* 

Thus  ended  this  little  episode  of  heresy,  of  no  importance  in 
its  origin  or  results,  but  curious  from  the  glimpse  which  it  affords 
into  the  spiritual  aberrations  of  the  time,  and  the  procedure  of 
the  Lombard  Inquisition,  and  noteworthy  as  a  rare  instance  of 
inquisitorial  clemency.f 


*  Ogniben,  pp.  42-4,  63,  67-8,  81-2,  91-2,  95-6,  97,  100,  110,  113,  115-16. 

t  Spiritual  eccentricities,  such  as  those  of  the  Guglielmites,  are  not  to  be 
regarded  as  peculiar  to  any  age  or  any  condition  of  civilization.  The  story  of 
Joanna  Southcote  is  well  known,  and  the  Southcottian  Church  maintained  its 
existence  in  London  until  the  middle  of  the  present  century.  In  July,  1886,  the 
American  journals  reported  the  discovery,  in  Cincinnati,  of  a  sect  even  more 
closely  approximating  to  the  Guglielmites,  and  about  as  numerous,  calling  them- 
selves Perfectionists,  and  believing  in  two  married  sisters — a  Mrs.  Martin  as  an 
incarnation  of  God,  and  a  Mrs.  Brooke  as  that  of  Christ.  Like  their  predeces- 
sors in  Milan  the  sect  is  by  no  means  confined  to  the  illiterate,  but  comprises 
people  of  intelligence  and  culture  who  have  abandoned  all  worldly  occupation 
in  the  expectation  of  the  approaching  Millennium — the  final  era  of  the  Ever- 
lasting Gospel.  The  exposure  for  a  time  broke  up  the  sect,  of  which  some  mem- 
bers departed,  while  others,  with  the  two  sisters,  joined  a  Methodist  church. 
Their  faith  was  not  shaken,  however,  and  in  June.  1887,  the  church  expelled 
them  after  an  investigation.  One  of  the  charges  against  them  was  that  they 
held  the  Church  of  the  present  day  to  be  Babylon  and  the  abomination  of  the 
earth.  England  has  also  recently  had  a  similar  experience  in  a  peasant  woman 
of  not  particularly  moral  life  who  for  some  fifteen  years,  until  her  death,  Sep- 
tember 18,  1886,  was  regarded  by  her  followers  as  a  new  incarnation  of  Christ. 
Her  own  definition  of  herself  was,  "  I  am  the  second  appearing  and  incarnation 
of  Jesus,  the  Christ  of  God,  the  Bride,  the  Lamb's  Wife,  the  God-Mother  and 
Saviour,  Life  from   Heaven,"  etc.,  etc.     She  signed   herself  "  Jesus,  First  and 


GHERARDO    SEGARELLI.  103 

About  the  time  when  Griiglielma  settled  in  Milan,  Parma  wit- 
nessed the  commencement  of  another  abnormal  development  of 
the  great  Franciscan  movement.  The  stimulus  which  monachism 
had  received  from  the  success  of  the  Mendicant  Orders,  the  exal- 
tation of  poverty  into  the  greatest  of  virtues,  the  recognition  of 
beggary  as  the  holiest  mode  of  life,  render  it  difficult  to  apportion 
between  yearnings  for  spiritual  perfection  and  the  attractions  of 
idleness  and  vagabondage  in  a  temperate  climate  the  responsibil- 
ity for  the  numerous  associations  which  arose  in  imitation  of  the 
Mendicants.  The  prohibition  of  unauthorized  religious  orders  by 
the  Lateran  Council  was  found  impossible  of  enforcement.  Men 
would  herd  together  with  more  or  less  of  organization  in  caves 
and  hermitages,  in  the  streets  of  cities,  and  in  abandoned  dwell- 
ings and  churches  by  the  roadsides.  The  Carmelites  and  Augus- 
tinian  hermits  won  recognition  after  a  long  struggle,  and  became 
established  Orders,  forming,  with  the  Franciscans  and  Dominicans, 
the  four  Mendicant  religions.  Others,  less  reputable,  or  more 
independent  in  spirit,  were  condemned,  and  when  they  refused 
to  disband  they  were  treated  as  rebels  and  heretics.  In  the  ten- 
sion of  the  spiritual  atmosphere,  any  man  who  would  devise  and 
put  in  practice  a  method  of  life  assimilating  him  most  nearly  to 
the  brutes  would  not  fail  to  find  admirers  and  followers ;  and,  if 
he  possessed  capacity  for  command  and  organization,  he  could 
readily  mould  them  into  a  confraternity  and  become  an  object  of 
veneration,  with  an  abundant  supply  of  offerings  from  the  pious. 

The  year  1260  was  that  in  which,  according  to  Abbot  Joachim, 
the  era  of  the  Holy  Ghost  was  to  open.  The  spiritual  excitement 
which  pervaded  the  population  was  seen  in  the  outbreak  of  the 
Flagellants,  which  filled  northern  Italy  with  processions  of  peni- 
tents scourging  themselves,  and  in  the  mutual  forgiveness  of  inju- 
ries, which  brought  an  interval  of  peace  to  a  distracted  land.  In 
such  a  condition  of  public  feeling,  gregarious  enthusiasm  is  easily 
directed  to  whatever  responds  to  the  impulse  of  the  moment,  and 


Last,  Mary  Ann  Girling."  At  one  time  her  sect  numbered  a  hundred  and  sev- 
enty-five members,  some  of  them  rich  enough  to  make  it  considerable  donations, 
but  under  the  petty  persecution  of  the  populace  it  dwindled  latterly  to  a  few, 
and  finally  dispersed.  Aberrations  of  this  nature  belong  to  no  special  stage  of 
intellectual  development.  The  only  advance  made  in  modem  times  is  in  the 
method  of  dealing  with  them. 


IQ4:  GUGLIELMA    AND    DOLCINO. 

the  self-mortification  of  a  youth  of  Parma,  called  Gherardo  Sega- 
relli,  found  abundant  imitators.  Of  low  extraction,  uncultured 
and  stupid,  he  had  vainly  applied  for  admission  into  the  Franciscan 
Order.  Denied  this,  he  passed  his  days  vacantly  musing  in  the 
Franciscan  church.  The  beatitude  of  ecstatic  abstraction,  carried 
to  the  point  of  the  annihilation  of  consciousness,  has  not  been  con- 
fined to  the  Tapas  and  Samadhi  of  the  Brahman  and  Buddhist. 
The  monks  of  Mt.  Athos,  known  as  Umbilicani  from  their  pious 
contemplation  of  their  navels,  knew  it  well,  and  Jacopone  da  Todi 
shows  that  its  dangerous  raptures  were  familiar  to  the  zealots  of 
the  time.*  Segarelli,  however,  was  not  so  lost  to  external  im- 
pressions but  that  he  remarked  in  the  scriptural  pictures  which 
adorned  the  walls  the  representations  of  the  apostles  in  the  habits 
which  art  has  assigned  to  them.  The  conception  grew  upon  him 
that  the  apostolic  life  and  vestment  would  form  the  ideal  religious 
existence,  superior  even  to  that  of  the  Franciscans  which  had  been 
denied  to  him.  As  a  preliminary,  he  sold  his  little  property  ;  then, 
mounting  the  tribune  in  the  Piazza,  he  scattered  the  proceeds  among 
the  idlers  sunning  themselves  there,  who  forthwith  gambled  it 
away  with  ample  floods  of  blasphemy.  Imitating  literally  the 
career  of  Christ,  he  had  himself  circumcised ;  then,  enveloped  in 
swaddling  clothes,  he  was  rocked  in  a  cradle  and  suckled  by  a 
woman.  His  apprenticeship  thus  completed,  he  embarked  on  the 
career  of  an  apostle,  letting  hair  and  beard  grow,  enveloped  in  a 
white  mantle,  with  the  Franciscan  cord  around  his  waist,  and  san- 
dals on  his  feet.  Thus  accoutred  he  wandered  through  the  streets 
of  Parma  crying  at  intervals  "  Penitenzagite"  which  was  his  igno- 
rant rendering  of  "  Penitentiam  agite  /" — the  customary  call  to 
repentance,  f 

For  a  while  he  had  no  imitators.  In  search  of  disciples  he  wan- 
dered to  the  neighboring  village  of  Collechio,  where,  standing  at 
the  roadside,  he  shouted  "  Enter  my  vineyard  I"  The  passers-bv 
who  knew  his  crazy  ways  paid  no  attention  to  him,  but  strangers 
took  his   call  to  be  an  invitation  to  help  themselves  from  the 

*          "0  glorioso  stare  Annichilarsi  bene 

In  nihil  quietato !  Nod  e  potere  humano 

Lo'  intelletto  posato  Anzi  e  virtu  divina  !" 
E  Faffetto  dormire ! 


t  Salimbene,  pp.  112-13. 


(Coinba,  La  Riforma  in  Italia,  I.  310.) 


THE    APOSTOLIC    BRETHREN.  105 

ripening  grapes  of  an  adjacent  vineyard,  which  they  accordingly 
stripped.  At  length  he  was  joined  by  a  certain  Kobert,  a  servant 
of  the  Franciscans,  who,  as  Salimbene  informs  us,  was  a  liar  and 
a  thief,  too  lazy  to  work,  who  flourished  for  a  while  in  the  sect  as 
Fra  Glutto,  and  who  finally  apostatized  and  married  a  female  her- 
mit. Gherardo  and  Glutto  wandered  through  the  streets  of  Parma 
in  their  white  mantles  and  sandals,  calling  the  people  to  repent- 
ance. They  gathered  associates,  and  the  number  rapidly  grew  to 
three  hundred.  They  obtained  a  house  in  which  to  eat  and  sleep, 
and  lacked  for  nothing,  for  alms  came  pouring  in  upon  them  more 
liberally  than  on  the  regular  Mendicants.  These  latter  wondered 
greatly,  for  the  self-styled  Apostles  gave  nothing  in  return — they 
could  not  preach,  or  hear  confessions,  or  celebrate  mass,  and  did 
not  even  pray  for  their  benefactors.  They  were  mostly  ignorant 
peasants,  swineherds  and  cowherds,  attracted  by  an  idle  life  which 
was  rewarded  with  ample  victuals  and  popular  veneration.  When 
gathered  together  in  their  assemblies  they  would  gaze  vacantly 
on  Segarelli  and  repeat  at  intervals  in  honor  of  him,  "Father! 
Father!  Father!"* 

When  the  Council  of  Lyons,  in  1274,  endeavored  to  control  the 
pest  of  these  unauthorized  mendicant  associations,  it  did  not  dis- 
perse them,  but  contented  itself  with  prohibiting  the  reception  of 
future  members,  in  the  expectation  that  they  would  thus  gradu- 
ally become  extinguished.  This  was  easily  eluded  by  the  Apostles, 
who,  when  a  neophyte  desired  to  join  them,  would  lay  before  him 
a  habit  and  say,  "  We  do  not  dare  to  receive  you,  as  this  is  pro- 
hibited to  us,  but  it  is  not  prohibited  to  you ;  do  as  you  think  fit." 
Thus,  in  spite  of  papal  commands,  the  Order  increased  and  mul- 
tiplied, as  we  are  told,  beyond  computation.  In  1284  we  hear  of 
seventy-two  postulants  in  a  body  passing  through  Modena  and 
Eeggio  to  Parma  to  be  adopted  by  Segarelli,  and  a  few  days  after- 
wards twelve  young  girls  came  on  the  same  errand,  wrapped  in 
their  mantles  and  styling  themselves  Apostolesses.  Imitating 
Dominic  and  Francis,  Segarelli  sent  his  followers  throughout  Eu- 
rope and  beyond  seas  to  evangelize  the  world.  They  penetrated 
far,  for  already  in  1287  we  find  the  Council  of  Wiirzburg  stigma- 
tizing the  wandering  Apostles  as  tramps,  and  forbidding  any  one 

*  Salimbene,  pp.  114-16. 


106  GUGLIELMA    AND    DOLCINO. 

to  give  them  food  on  account  of  their  religious  aspect  and  unusual 
dress.  Pedro  de  Lugo  (Galicia),  who  abjured  before  the  Inquisition 
of  Toulouse  in  1322,  testified  that  he  had  been  inducted  in  the  sect 
twenty  years  previous  by  Richard,  an  Apostle  from  Alessandria  in 
Lombardy,  who  was  busily  spreading  the  heresy  beyond  Compos- 
tella* 

Xot withstanding  the  veneration  felt  by  the  brethren  for  Sega- 
relli  he  steadily  refused  to  assume  the  headship  of  the  Order,  say- 
ing that  each  must  bear  his  own  burden.  Had  he  been  an  active 
organizer,  with  the  material  at  his  disposition,  he  might  have  given 
the  Church  much  trouble,  but  he  was  inert  and  indisposed  to  aban- 
don his  contemplative  self-indulgence.  He  seems  to  have  hesitated 
somewhat  as  to  the  form  which  the  association  should  assume,  and 
consulted  Alberto  of  Parma,  one  of  the  seven  notaries  of  the  curia, 
whether  they  should  select  a  superior.  Alberto  referred  him  to 
the  Cistercian  Abbot  of  Fontanaviva,  who  advised  that  they  should 
not  found  houses,  but  should  continue  to  wander  over  the  land 
wrapped  in  their  mantles,  and  they  would  not  fail  of  shelter  by 
the  charitable.  Segarelli  was  nothing  loath  to  follow  his  counsel, 
but  a  more  energetic  spirit  was  found  in  Guidone  Putagi,  brother 
of  the  Podesta  of  Bologna,  who  entered  the  Order  with  his  sister 
Tripia.  Finding  that  Segarelli  would  not  govern,  he  seized  com- 
mand and  for  many  years  conducted  affairs,  but  he  gave  offence 
by  abandoning  the  poverty  which  was  the  essence  of  the  associa- 
tion. He  lived  splendidly,  we  are  told,  with  many  horses,  lavish- 
ing money  like  a  cardinal  or  papal  legate,  till  the  brethren  grew 
tired  and  elected  Matteo  of  Ancona  as  his  successor.  This  led  to 
a  split.  Guidone  retained  possession  of  the  person  of  Segarelli, 
and  carried  him  to  Faenza.  Matteo's  followers  came  there  and 
endeavored  to  seize  Segarelli  by  force ;  the  two  parties  came  to 
blows  and  the  Anconitans  were  defeated.  Guidone,  however,  was 
so  much  alarmed  for  his  safety  that  he  left  the  Apostles  and  joined 
the  Templars. f 

Bishop  Opizo  of  Parma,  a  nephew  of  Innocent  IV.,  had  a  liking 


*  Concil.  Lugdun.  ann.  1274  c.  23.— Salimbene,  pp.  117,  119,  329-30.— Con- 
cil.  Herbipolens.  ann.  1287  (Harduin.  VII.  1141).— Lib.  Sententt.  Inq.  Tolosan. 
p.  360. 

t  Salimbene,  pp.  114-16. 


THE    APOSTLES    PERSECUTED.  107 

for  Segarelli,  and  for  his  sake  protected  the  Apostles,  which  serves 
to  account  for  their  uninterrupted  growth.  In  1286,  however, 
three  of  the  brethren  misbehaved  flagrantly  at  Bologna,  and  were 
summarily  hanged  by  the  podesta.  This  seems  to  have  drawn  at- 
tention to  the  sectaries,  for  about  the  same  time  Honorius  IV. 
issued  a  bull  especially  directed  against  them.  They  were  com- 
manded to  abandon  their  peculiar  vestments  and  enter  some  recog- 
nized order ;  prelates  were  required  to  enforce  obedience  by  im- 
prisonment, with  recourse,  if  necessary,  to  the  secular  arm,  and  the 
faithful  at  large  were  ordered  not  to  give  them  alms  or  hospitality. 
The  Order  was  thus  formally  proscribed.  Bishop  Opizo  hastened 
to  obey.  He  banished  the  brethren  from  his  diocese  and  impris- 
oned Segarelli  in  chains,  but  subsequently  relenting  kept  him  in 
his  palace  as  a  jester,  for  when  filled  with  wine  the  Apostle  could 
be  amusing.* 

For  some  years  we  hear  little  of  Segarelli  and  his  disciples. 
The  papal  condemnation  discouraged  them,  but  it  received  scant 
obedience.  Their  numbers  may  have  diminish  ed,  and  public  charity 
may  have  been  to  some  extent  withdrawn,  but  they  were  still  nu- 
merous, they  continued  lo  wear  the  white  mantle,  and  to  be  sup- 
ported in  their  wandering  life.  The  best  evidence  that  the  bull  of 
Honorius  failed  in  its  purpose  is  the  fact  that  in  1291  Nicholas  IY. 
deemed  its  reissue  necessary.  They  were  now  in  open  antagonism 
to  the  Holy  See — rebels  and  schismatics,  rapidly  ripening  into  her- 
etics, and  fair  subjects  of  persecution.  Accordingly,  in  1494,  we 
hear  of  four  of  them — two  men  and  two  women — burned  at  Parma, 
and  of  Segarelli' s  condemnation  to  perpetual  imprisonment  by 
Bishop  Opizo.  There  is  also  an  allusion  to  an  earnest  missionary 
of  the  sect,  named  Stephen,  dangerous  on  account  of  the  eloquence 
of  his  preaching,  who  was  burned  by  the  Inquisition.  Segarelli  had 
saved  his  life  by  abjuration ,  possibly  after  a  few  years  he  may 
have  been  released,  but  he  did  not  abandon  his  errors ;  the  Inquisi- 
tor of  Parma,  Fra  Manfredo,  convicted  him  as  a  relapsed  heretic, 
and  he  was  burned  in  Parma  in  1300.  An  active  persecution  fol- 
lowed of  his  disciples.     Many  were  apprehended  by  the  Inquisition 


*  Salimbene,  pp.  117,  371. — Mag.  Bull.  Rom.  1. 158. — At  the  same  time  Hono- 
rius approved  the  Orders  of  the  Carmelites  and  of  St.  William  of  the  Desert 
(Raynald.  aun.  1286,  No.  3G,  37). 


108  GUGL1ELMA    AND    DOLCINO. 


and  subjected  to  various  punishments,  until  Parma  congratulated 
itself  that  the  heresy  was  fairly  stamped  out.* 

Persecution,  as  usual,  had  the  immediate  effect  of  scattering 
the  heretics,  of  confirming  them  in  the  faith,  and  of  developing 
the  heresv  into  a  more  decided  antagonism  towards  the  Church. 
Segarelli's  disciples  were  not  all  ignorant  peasants.  In  Tuscany  a 
Franciscan  of  high  reputation  for  sanctity  and  learning  was  in  secret 
an  active  missionary,  and  endeavored  even  to  win  over  Ubertino 
da  Casale.  Ubertino  led  him  on  and  then  betrayed  him,  and  when 
we  are  told  that  he  was  forced  to  reveal  his  followers,  we  may  as- 
sume that  he  was  subjected  to  the  customary  inquisitorial  proc- 
esses. This  points  to  relationship  between  the  Apostles  and  the 
disaffected  Franciscans,  and  the  indication  is  strengthened  bv  the 
anxiety  of  the  Spirituals  to  disclaim  all  connection.  The  Apostles 
were  deeply  tinged  with  Joachitism,  and  the  Spirituals  endeavor 
to  hide  the  fact  bv  attributing-  their  errors  to  Joachim's  detested 
heretic  imitator,  the  forgotten  Amaury.  The  Conventuals,  in  fact, 
did  not  omit  this  damaging  method  of  attack,  and  in  the  contest 
before  Clement  V.  the  Spirituals  were  obliged  to  disavow  all  con- 
nection with  Dolcinism.f 

TTe  know  nothing  of  any  peculiar  tenets  taught  by  Segarelli. 
From  his  character  it  is  not  likelv  that  he  indulged  in  anv  recondite 
speculations,  while  the  toleration  which  he  enjoyed  until  near  the 
end  of  his  career  probably  prevented  him  from  formulating  any 
revolutionary  doctrines.  To  wear  the  habit  of  the  association,  to 
live  in  absolute  poverty,  without  labor  and  depending  on  daily 
charity,  to  take  no  thought  of  the  morrow,  to  wander  without  a 
home,  calling  upon  the  people  to  repent,  to  preserve  the  strictest 
chastity,  was  the  sum  of  his  teaching,  so  far  as  we  know,  and  this 
remained  to  the  last  the  exterior  observance  of  the  Apostles.  It 
was  rigidly  enforced.  Even  the  austerity  of  the  Franciscans  al- 
lowed the  friar  two  gowns,  as  a  concession  to  health  and  comfort, 
but  the  Apostle  could  have  but  one,  and  if  he  desired  it  washed  he 


*  Mag.  Bull.  Rom.  I.  158.— Chron.  Parmens.  aim.  1294  (Muratori  S.  R.  I.  IX. 
82G). — Hist.  Tribulat.  (Archiv  fur  Litt.-  u.  Kirchengeschicbte,  1886,  p.  130).— 
Addit.  ad  Hist.  Prat  Dulcini  (Muratori  IX.  450). 

t  Hist.  Tribulat.  (ubi  sup.).—  Ubertiui  Responsio  (Archiv  f.  L.  u.  K.  1887,  p. 
51). 


DOLCINO'S    DOCTRINES.  109 

had  to  remain  covered  in  bed  until  it  was  dried.  Like  the  Wal- 
denses  and  Cathari,  the  Apostles  seem  to  have  considered  the  use 
of  the  oath  as  unlawful.  They  were  accused,  as  usual,  of  incul- 
cating promiscuous  intercourse,  and  this  charge  seemed  substan- 
tiated by  the  mingling  of  the  sexes  in  their  wandering  life,  and  by 
the  crucial  test  of  continence  to  which  they  habitually  exposed 
themselves,  in  imitation  of  the  early  Christians,  of  lying  together 
naked ;  but  the  statement  of  their  errors  drawn  up  by  the  inquisi- 
tors who  knew  them,  for  the  instruction  of  their  colleagues,  shows 
that  license  formed  no  part  of  their  creed,  though  it  would  not  be 
safe  to  say  that  men  and  women  of  evil  life  may  not  have  been 
attracted  to  join  them  by  the  idleness  and  freedom  from  care  of 
their  wandering  existence.* 

By  the  time  of  Grherardo's  death,  however,  persecution  had  been 
sufficiently  sharp  and  long-continued  to  drive  the  Apostles  into 
denying  the  authority  of  the  Holy  See  and  formulating  doctrines 
of  pronounced  hostility  to  the  Church.  An  epistle  written  by 
Fra  Dolcino,  about  a  month  after  Segarelli's  execution,  shows  that 
minds  more  powerful  than  that  of  the  founder  had  been  at  work 
framing  a  body  of  principles  suited  to  zealots  chafing  under  the 
domination  of  a  corrupt  church,  and  eagerly  yearning  for  a  higher 
theory  of  life  than  it  could  furnish.  Joachim  had  promised  that 
the  era  of  the  Holy  Ghost  should  open  with  the  year  1260.  That 
prophecy  had  been  fulfilled  by  the  appearance  of  Segarelli,  whose 
mission  had  then  commenced.  Tacitly  accepting  this  coincidence, 
Dolcino  proceeds  to  describe  four  successive  states  of  the  Church. 
The  first  extends  from  the  Creation  to  the  time  of  Christ ;  the  sec- 
ond from  Christ  to  Silvester  and  Constantine,  during  which  the 
Church  was  holy  and  poor ;  the  third  from  Silvester  to  Segarelli, 
during  which  the  Church  declined,  in  spite  of  the  reforms  intro- 
duced by  Benedict,  Dominic,  and  Francis,  until  it  had  wholly  lost 

*  Salimbene,  pp.  113,  117, 121.— Lib.  Sententt.  Inq.  Tolos.  pp.  360-1.— Mura- 
tori  S.  R.  I.  IX.  455-7.— Bern.  Guidon.  Practica  P.  v.  — Eymeric.  P.  n.  Q.  11. 

The  test  of  continence  was  regarded  with  horror  by  the  inquisitors,  and  yet 
when  practised  by  St.  Aldhelm  it  was  considered  as  proof  of  supereminent 
sanctity  (Girald.  Cambrens.  Gemm.  Eccles.  Dist.  n.  c.  xv.).  The  coincidence,  in 
fact,  is  remarkable  between  the  perilous  follies  of  the  Apostles  and  those  of  the 
Christian  zealots  of  the  third  century,  as  described  and  condemned  by  Cyprian 
(Epist.  rv.  ad  Pompon.). 


HO  GUGLIELMA  AND  DOLCINO. 

the  charity  of  God.  The  fourth  state  was  commenced  by  Sega- 
relli, and  will  last  till  the  Day  of  Judgment.  Then  follow  prophe- 
cies which  seem  to  be  based  on  those  of  the  Pseudo-Joachim's 
Commentaries  on  Jeremiah.  The  Church  now  is  honored,  rich, 
and  wicked,  and  will  so  remain  until  all  clerks,  monks,  and  friars 
are  cut  off  with  a  cruel  death,  which  will  happen  within  three 
years.  Frederic,  King  of  Trinacria,  who  had  not  yet  made  his 
peace  with  the  Holy  See,  was  regarded  as  the  coming  avenger,  in 
consequence,  doubtless,  of  his  relations  with  the  Spirituals  and  his 
tendencies  in  their  favor.  The  epistle  concludes  with  a  mass  of 
Apocalyptical  prophecies  respecting  the  approaching  advent  of 
Antichrist,  the  triumph  of  the  saints,  and  the  reign  of  holy  pov- 
erty and  love,  which  is  to  follow  under  a  saintly  pope.  The  seven 
angels  of  the  churches  are  declared  to  be  Benedict,  of  Ephesus  ; 
Silvester,  of  Pergamus ;  Francis,  of  Sardis ;  Dominic,  of  Laodicea ; 
Segarelli,  of  Smyrna  ;  Dolcino  himself,  of  Thyatira  ;  and  the  holy 
pope  to  come,  of  Philadelphia.  Dolcino  announces  himself  as  the 
special  envoy  of  God,  sent  to  elucidate  Scripture  and  the  prophe- 
cies, while  the  clergy  and  the  friars  are  the  ministers  of  Satan, 
who  persecute  now,  but  who  will  shortly  be  consumed,  when  he 
and  his  followers,  with  those  who  join  them,  will  prevail  till  the 
end.* 

Segarelli  had  perished  at  the  stake,  July  18,  and  already  in 
August  here  was  a  man  assuming  with  easy  assurance  the  danger- 
ous position  of  heresiarch,  proclaiming  himself  the  mouthpiece  of 
God,  and  promising  his  followers  speedy  triumph  in  reward  for 
what  they  might  endure  under  his  leadership.  Whether  or  not 
he  believed  his  own  prophecies,  whether  he  was  a  wild  fanatic  or 
a  skilful  charlatan,  can  never  be  absolutely  determined,  but  the 
balance  of  probability  lies  in  his  truthfulness.  With  all  his  gifts 
as  a  born  leader  of  men,  it  is  safe  to  assert  that  if  he  had  not  be- 
lieved in  his  mission  he  could  not  have  inspired  his  followers  with 
the  devotion  which  led  them  to  stand  by  him  through  sufferings 
unendurable  to  ordinary  human  nature  ;  while  the  cool  sagacity 
which  he  displayed  under  the  most  pressing  emergencies  must 


*  Muratori  IX.  449-53.— Guill.  Nangiac.  Contin.  ami.  1306.— R.  Fran.  Pipini 
Chron.  cap.  xv.  (Muratori,  IX.  599).— Cf.  Lib.  Sententt.  Inq.  Tolos.  p.  360.^ 
Pelayo,  Heterodoxos  Espanoles,  I.  720. 


FRA    DOLCINO.  ni 

have  been  inflamed  by  apocalyptic  visions  ere  he  could  have  em- 
barked in  an  enterprise  in  which  the  means  were  so  wholly  inade- 
quate to  the  end — ere  he  could  have  endeavored  single-handed  to 
overthrow  the  whole  majestic  structure  of  the  theocratic  church  and 
organized  feudalism.  Dante  recognized  the  greatness  of  Dolcino 
when  he  represents  him  as  the  only  living  man  to  whom  Mahomet 
from  the  depths  of  hell  deigns  to  send  a  message,  as  to  a  kindred 
spirit.  The  good  Spiritual  Franciscans,  who  endured  endless  per- 
secution without  resistance,  could  only  explain  his  career  by  a 
revelation  made  to  a  servant  of  God  beyond  the  seas,  that  he  was 
possessed  by  a  malignant  angel  named  Furcio.* 

The  paternity  of  Dolcino  is  variously  attributed  to  Giulio,  a 
priest  of  Trontano  in  the  Yal  d'Ossola,  and  to  Giulio,  a  hermit  of 
Prato  in  the  Yalsesia,  near  Novara.  Brought  as  a  child  to  Ver- 
celli,  he  was  bred  in  the  church  of  St.  Agnes  by  a  priest  named 
Agosto,  who  had  him  carefully  trained.  Gifted  with  a  brilliant 
intellect,  he  soon  became  an  excellent  scholar,  and,  though  small 
of  stature,  he  was  pleasant  to  look  upon  and  won  the  affection  of 
all.  In  after-times  it  was  said  that  his  eloquence  and  persuasive- 
ness were  such  that  no  one  who  once  listened  to  him  could  ever 
throw  off  the  spell.  His  connection  with  Yercelli  came  to  a  sud- 
den end.  The  priest  lost  a  sum  of  money  and  suspected  his  ser- 
vant Patras.  The  man  took  the  boy  and  by  torturing  him  forced 
him  to  confess  the  theft — rightly  or  wrongly.  The  priest  inter- 
fered to  prevent  the  matter  from  becoming  public,  but  shame  and 
terror  caused  Dolcino  to  depart  in  secret,  and  we  lose  sight  of  him 
until  we  hear  of  him  in  Trent,  at  the  head  of  a  band  of  Apostles. 
He  had  joined  the  sect  in  1291 ;  he  must  early  have  taken  a  promi- 
nent position  in  it,  for  he  admitted  in  his  final  confession  that  he 
had  thrice  been  in  the  hands  of  the  Inquisition,  and  had  thrice  ab- 
jured. This  he  could  do  without  forfeiting  his  position,  for  it  was 
one  of  the  principles  of  the  sect,  which  greatly  angered  the  in- 
quisitors, that  deceit  was  lawful  when  before  the  Inquisition ;  that 

*  Hist.  Tribulat.  (ubi  sup.). 

Or  di  a  Frit  Dolcin  dunque  che  s'  armi, 
Tu  che  forse  vedrai  il  sole  in  breve, 
S'  egli  non  vuol  qui  tosto  seguitarmi ; 
Si  di  vivanda,  che  stretta  di  neve 
Non  rechi  la  vittoria  al  Noarese, 
Ch'  altrimenti  acquistar  non  saria  lieve. — Inferno,  xxviii. 


112  GUGLIELMA   AND    DOLCINO. 

oaths  could  then  be  taken  with  the  lips  and  not  with  the  heart ; 
but  that  if  death  could  not  be  escaped,  then  it  was  to  be  endured 
cheerfully  and  patiently,  without  betraying  accomplices." 

For  three  years  after  his  epistle  of  August,  1300,  we  know  noth- 
ing of  Dolcino's  movements,  except  that  he  is  heard  of  in  Milan, 
Brescia,  Bergamo,  and  Como,  but  they  were  busy  years  of  prop- 
agandist! and  organization.  The  time  of  promised  liberation 
came  and  passed,  and  the  Church  was  neither  shattered  nor 
amended.  Yet  the  capture  of  Boniface  VIII.  at  Anagni,  in  Sep- 
tember, 1303,  followed  by  his  death,  might  well  seem  to  be  the  be- 
ginning of  the  end,  and  the  fulfilment  of  the  prophecy.  In  Decem- 
ber, 1303,  therefore,  Dolcino  issued  a  second  epistle,  in  which  he  an- 
nounced as  a  revelation  from  God  that  the  first  year  of  the  tribu- 
lations of  the  Church  had  begun  in  the  fall  of  Boniface.  In  1304 
Frederic  of  Trinacria  would  become  emperor,  and  would  destroy 
the  cardinals,  with  the  new  evil  pope  whom  they  had  just  elected ; 
in  1305  he  would  carry  desolation  through  the  ranks  of  all  prel- 
ates and  ecclesiastics,  whose  wickedness  was  daily  increasing. 
Until  that  time  the  faithful  must  lie  hid  to  escape  persecution,  but 
then  they  would  come  forth,  they  would  be  joined  by  the  Spirituals 
of  the  other  orders,  they  would  receive  the  grace  of  the  Holy  Ghost, 
and  would  form  the  new  Church  which  would  endure  to  the  end. 
Meanwhile  he  announced  himself  as  the  ruler  of  the  Apostolic 
Congregation,  consisting  of  four  thousand  souls,  living  without 
external  obedience,  but  in  the  obedience  of  the  Spirit.  About  a 
hundred,  of  either  sex,  were  organized  in  control  of  the  brethren, 
and  he  had  four  principal  lieutenants,  Longino  Cattaneo  da  Ber- 
gamo, Federigo  da  Xovara,  Alberto  da  Otranto,  and  Yalderigo  da 
Brescia.  Superior  to  these  was  his  dearly-loved  sister  in  Christ, 
Margherita.  Margherita  di  Trank  is  described  to  us  as  a  woman 
of  noble  birth,  considerable  fortune,  and  surpassing  beauty,  who  had 
been  educated  in  the  convent  of  St.  Catharine  at  Trent.  Dolcino 
had  been  the  agent  of  the  convent,  and  had  thus  made  her  ac- 
quaintance. Infatuated  with  him,  she  fled  with  him,  and  remained 
constant  to  the  last.     He  always  maintained  that  their  relations 


*  Benvenuto  dalmola  (Muratori  Antiq.  III.  457-9). — BescapS,  La  Novara  Sacra, 
Novara,  1878,  p.  157. — Baggiolini,  Dolcino  e  i  Patarini,  Xovara,  1838,  pp.  35-6. — 
Hist.  Dulcin.  Haeresiarch.  (Muratori.  S.  R.  I.  IX.  436-7).— Addit.  ad  Hist.  (Ibid. 
457,  460). 


DOLCINO    COLLECTS    HIS  FOLLOWERS.  H3 

were  purely  spiritual,  but  this  was  naturally  doubted,  and  the 
churchmen  asserted  that  she  bore  him  a  child  whose  birth  was 
represented  to  the  faithful  as  the  operation  of  the  Holy  Ghost.* 

Although  in  this  letter  of  December,  1303,  Dolcino  recognizes 
the  necessity  of  concealment,  perhaps  the  expected  approaching  fru- 
ition of  his  hopes  may  have  encouraged  him  to  relax  his  precautions. 
Returning  in  1304  to  the  home  of  his  youth  with  a  few  sectaries 
clad  in  the  white  tunics  and  sandals  of  the  Order,  he  commenced 
making  converts  in  the  neighborhood  of  Gattinara  and  Serravalle, 
two  villages  of  the  Valsesia,  a  few  leagues  above  Vercelli.  The  In- 
quisition was  soon  upon  the  track,  and,  failing  to  catch  him,  made 
the  people  of  Serravalle  pay  dearly  for  the  favor  which  they  had 
shown  him.  Deep-seated  discontent,  both  with  the  Church  and 
their  feudal  lords,  can  alone  explain  the  assistance  which  Dolcino 
received  from  the  hardy  population  of  the  foot-hills  of  the  Alps, 
when  he  was  forced  to  raise  openly  the  standard  of  revolt.  A 
short  distance  above  Serravalle,  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Sesia,  a 
stream  fed  by  the  glaciers  of  Monte  Rosa,  lay  Borgo  di  Sesia,  in 
the  diocese  of  Novara.  Thither  a  rich  husbandman,  much  esteemed 
by  his  neighbors,  named  Milano  Sola,  invited  Dolcino,  and  for  sev- 
eral months  he  remained  there  undisturbed,  making  converts  and 
receiving  his  disciples,  whom  he  seems  to  have  summoned  from  dis- 
tant parts,  as  though  resolved  to  make  a  stand  and  take  advantage 
of  the  development  of  his  apocalyptic  prophecies.  Preparations 
made  to  dislodge  him,  however,  convinced  him  that  safety  was 
only  to  be  found  in  the  Alps,  and  under  the  guidance  of  Milano 
Sola  the  Apostles  moved  up  towards  the  head- waters  of  the  Sesia, 
and  established  themselves  on  a  mountain  crest,  difficult  of  access, 
where  they  built  huts.  Thus  passed  the  year  1304.  Their  num- 
bers were  not  inconsiderable— some  fourteen  hundred  of  both  sexes 
—inflamed  with  religious  zeal,  regarding  Dolcino  as  a  prophet  whose 
lightest  word  was  law.  Thus  contumaciously  assembled  in  defiance 
of  the  summons  of  the  Inquisition,  they  were  in  open  rebellion 


*  Corio,  Hist.  Milanesi,  arm.  1307.— Benv.  da  Imola,  loc.  cit.— Additamentum 
(Muratori  IX.  454-55,  459).— Baggiolini,  pp.  36-7. 

Dolcino's  two  epistles  were  formally  condemned  by  the  Bishop  of  Parma  and 
Fra  Manfredo,  the  inquisitor,  and  must  therefore  have  been  circulated  outside  of 
the  sect  (Eymeric.  Direct.  Inq.  P.  n.  Q.  29). 
III.— 8 


114  GUGLIELMA    AND    DOLCINO. 

against  the  Church.  The  State  also  soon  became  their  enemy,  for  as 
the  year  1305  opened,  their  slender  stock  of  provisions  was  exhausted 
and  they  replenished  their  stores  by  raids  upon  the  lower  valleys.* 
The  Church  could  not  afford  to  brook  this  open  defiance,  to 
say  nothing  of  the  complaints  of  rapine  and  sacrilege  which  filled 
the  land,  yet  it  shows  the  dread  which  Dolcino  already  inspired 
that  recourse  was  had  to  the  pope,  under  whose  auspices  a  formal 
crusade  was  preached,  in  order  to  raise  a  force  deemed  sufficient 
to  exterminate  the  heretics.  One  of  the  early  acts  of  Clement  Y. 
after  his  election,  June  5, 1305,  was  to  issue  bulls  for  this  purpose, 
and  the  next  step  was  to  hold  an  assembly,  August  24,  where  a 
league  was  formed  and  an  agreement  signed  pledging  the  assem- 
bled nobles  to  shed  the  last  drop  of  their  blood  to  destroy  the  Gaz- 
zari,  who  had  been  driven  out  of  Sesia  and  Biandrate,  but  had  not 
ceased  to  trouble  the  land.  Armed  with  the  papal  commissions, 
Rainerio,  Bishop  of  Yercelli,  and  the  inquisitors  raised  a  consider- 
able force  and  advanced  to  the  mountain  refuge  of  the  Apostles. 
Dolcino,  seeing  the  futility  of  resistance,  decamped  by  night  and  es- 
tablished his  little  community  on  an  almost  inaccessible  mountain, 
and  the  crusaders,  apparently  thinking  them  dispersed,  withdrew. 
Dolcino  was  now  fairly  at  bay ;  the  only  hope  of  safety  lay  in  re- 
sistance, and  since  the  Church  was  resolved  on  war,  he  and  his  fol- 
lowers would  at  least  sell  their  lives  as  dearly  as  they  could.  His 
new  retreat  was  on  the  Parete  Calvo — the  Bare  Wall — whose 
name  sufficiently  describes  its  character,  a  mountain  overlooking 
the  village  of  Campertogno.  On  this  stronghold  the  Apostles 
fortified  themselves  and  constructed  such  habitations  as  they  could, 
and  from  it  they  ravaged  the  neighboring  valleys  for  subsistence. 
The  Podesta  of  Yarallo  assembled  the  men  of  the  Yalsesia  to  dis- 
lodge them,  but  Dolcino  laid  an  ambush  for  him,  attacked  him  with 
stones  and  such  other  weapons  as  the  Apostles  chanced  to  have, 
and  took  him  prisoner  with  most  of  his  men,  obtaining  ransoms 
which  enabled  the  sectaries  to  support  life  for  a  while  longer. 
Their  depredations  continued  till  all  the  land  within  striking  dis- 
tance was  reduced  to  a  desert,  the  churches  despoiled,  and  the  in- 
habitants driven  off.f 


*  Hist.  Dulcin.  (Muratori  IX.  428-9).— Bescape,  loc.  cit. 
f  Hist.  Dulcin.  (Muratori  IX.  430-1).— Bescape.  loc.  cit. 


CRUSADES    AGAINST    DOLCINO.  115 

The  winter  of  1305-6  put  to  the  test  the  endurance  of  the  her- 
etics on  their  bare  mountain-top.  As  Lent  came  on  they  were  re- 
duced to  eating  mice  and  other  vermin,  and  hay  cooked  in  grease. 
The  position  became  untenable,  and  on  the  night  of  March  10, 
compelled  by  stern  necessity  to  abandon  their  weaker  companions, 
they  left  the  Parete  Calvo,  and,  building  paths  which  seemed  im- 
possible over  high  mountains  and  through  deep  snows,  they  estab- 
lished themselves  on  Monte  Rubello,  overlooking  the  village  of 
Triverio,  in  the  diocese  of  Yercelli.  By  this  time,  through  want 
and  exhaustion,  their  numbers  were  reduced  to  about  a  thousand, 
and  the  sole  provisions  which  they  brought  with  them  were  a  few 
scraps  of  meat.  With  such  secrecy  and  expedition  had  the  move 
been  executed  that  the  first  intimation  that  the  people  of  Triverio 
had  of  the  neighborhood  of  the  dreaded  heretics  was  a  foray  by 
night,  in  which  their  town  was  ravaged.  We  do  not  hear  that 
any  of  the  unresisting  inhabitants  were  slain,  but  we  are  told  that 
thirty-four  of  the  Apostles  were  cut  off  in  their  retreat  and  put  to 
death.  The  whole  region  was  now  alarmed,  and  the  Bishop  of 
Yercelli  raised  a  second  force  of  crusaders,  who  bravely  advanced 
to  Monte  Rubello.  Dolcino  was  rapidly  learning  the  art  of  war ; 
he  made  a  sally  from  his  stronghold,  though  again  we  learn  that 
some  of  his  combatants  were  armed  only  with  stones,  and  the 
bishop's  troops  were  beaten  back  with  the  loss  of  many  prisoners 
who  were  exchanged  for  food.* 

The  heretic  encampment  was  now  organized  for  permanent  oc- 
cupation. Fortifications  were  thrown  up,  houses  built,  and  a  well 
dug.  Thus  rendered  inexpugnable,  the  hunted  Apostles  were  in 
safety  from  external  attack,  and  on  their  Alpine  crag,  with  all 
mankind  for  enemies,  they  calmly  awaited  in  their  isolation  the 
fulfilment  of  Dolcino's  prophecies.  Their  immediate  danger  was 
starvation.  The  mountain-tops  furnished  no  food,  and  the  remains 
of  the  episcopal  army  stationed  at  Mosso  maintained  a  strict 
blockade.  To  relieve  himself,  early  in  May,  Dolcino  by  a  clever 
stratagem  lured  them  to  an  attack,  set  upon  them  from  an  am- 
bush, and  dispersed  them,  capturing  many  prisoners,  who,  as  be- 
fore, were  exchanged  for  provisions.  The  bishop's  resources  were* 
exhausted.     Again  he  appealed  to  Clement  V.,  who  graciously 


Hist.  Dulcin.  (Muratori  IX.  430-2). 


HQ  GUGLIELMA  AND  DOLCIXO. 

anathematized  the  heretics,  and  offered  plenary  indulgence  to  all 
who  would  serve  in  the  army  of  the  Lord  for  thirty  days  against 
them,  or  pay  a  recruit  for  such  service.  The  papal  letters  were 
published  far  and  wide,  the  Yercellese  ardently  supported  their 
aged  bishop,  who  personally  accompanied  the  crusade;  a  large 
force  was  raised,  neighboring  heights  were  seized  and  machines 
erected  which  threw  stones  into  the  heretic  encampment  and  de- 
molished their  huts.  A  desperate  struggle  took  place  for  the  pos- 
session of  one  commanding  eminence,  where  mutual  slaughter  so 
deeply  tinged  the  waters  of  the  Riccio  that  its  name  became 
changed  to  that  of  Rio  Carnaschio,  and  so  strong  was  the  impres- 
sion made  upon  the  popular  mind  that  within  the  last  century  it 
would  have  fared  ill  with  any  sceptical  traveller  who  should  aver 
within  hearing  of  a  mountaineer  of  the  district  that  its  color  was 
the  same  as  that  of  the  neighboring  torrents." 

This  third  crusade  was  as  fruitless  as  its  predecessors.  The 
assailants  were  repulsed  and  fell  back  to  Mosso,  Triverio,  and 
Crevacore,  while  Dolcino,  profiting  by  experience,  fortified  and 
garrisoned  six  of  the  neighboring  heights,  from  which  he  harried 
the  surrounding  country  and  kept  his  people  supplied  with  food. 
To  restrain  them  the  crusaders  built  two  forts  and  maintained  a 
heavy  force  within  them,  but  to  little  purpose.  Mosso,  Triverio, 
Cassato,  Flecchia,  and  other  towns  were  burned,  and  the  accounts  of 
the  wanton  spoliation  and  desecration  of  the  churches  show  how 
thoroughlv  antisacerdotal  the  sect  had  become.  Driven  to  des- 
peration,  the  ancient  loving-kindness  of  their  creed  gave  place  to 
the  cruelty  which  they  learned  from  their  assailants.  To  deprive 
them  of  resources  it  was  forbidden  to  exchange  food  with  them 
for  prisoners,  and  their  captives  were  mercilessly  put  to  death. 
According  to  the  contemporary  inquisitor  to  whom  we  are  in- 
debted for  these  details,  since  the  days  of  Adam  there  had  never 
been  a  sect  so  execrable,  so  abominable,  so  horrible,  or  which  in  a 
time  so  short  accomplished  so  much  evil.  The  worst  of  it  was 
that  Dolcino  infused  into  his  followers  his  own  unconquerable 
spirit.  In  male  attire  the  women  accompanied  the  men  in  their 
expeditions.  Fanaticism  rendered  them  invincible,  and  so  great 
was  the  terror  which  they  inspired  that  the  faithful  fled  from  the 


Hist.  Dulcin  (Muratori  IX.  432-4.)— Baggiolini,  p.  131. 


DOLCINO    CAPTURED.  117 

faces  of  these  dogs,  of  whom  we  are  told  a  few  would  put  to  flight 
a  host  and  utterly  destroy  them.  The  land  was  abandoned  by  the 
inhabitants,  and  in  December,  seized  with  a  sudden  panic,  the 
crusaders  evacuated  one  of  the  forts,  and  the  garrison  of  the  other, 
amounting  to  seven  hundred  men,  was  rescued  with  difficulty.* 

Dolcino's  fanaticism  and  military  skill  had  thus  triumphed  in 
the  field,  but  the  fatal  weakness  of  his  position  lay  in  his  inability 
to  support  his  followers.  This  was  clearly  apprehended  by  the 
Bishop  of  Vercelli,  who  built  five  new  forts  around  the  heretic 
position ;  and  when  we  are  told  that  all  the  roads  and  passes  were 
strictly  guarded  so  that  no  help  should  reach  them,  we  may  infer 
that,  in  spite  of  the  devastation  to  which  they  had  been  driven, 
they  still  had  friends  among  the  population.  This  policy  was 
successful.  During  the  winter  of  1306-7  the  sufferings  of  the 
Apostles  on  their  snowy  mountain-top  were  frightful.  Hunger 
and  cold  did  their  work.  Many  perished  from  exhaustion.  Others 
barely  maintained  life  on  grass  and  leaves,  when  they  were  fortu- 
nate enough  to  find  them.  Cannibalism  was  resorted  to ;  the  bodies 
of  their  enemies  who  fell  in  successful  sorties  were  devoured,  and 
even  those  of  their  comrades  who  succumbed  to  starvation.  The 
pious  chronicler  informs  us  that  this  misery  was  brought  upon 
them  by  the  prayers  and  vows  of  the  good  bishop  and  his  flock.f 

To  this  there  could  be  but  one  ending,  and  even  the  fervid 
genius  of  Dolcino  could  not  indefinitely  postpone  the  inevitable. 
As  the  dreary  Alpine  winter  drew  to  an  end,  towards  the  close  of 
March,  the  bishop  organized  a  fourth  crusade.  A  large  army  was 
raised  to  deal  with  the  gaunt  and  haggard  survivors ;  hot  fighting 
occurred  during  Passion  Week,  and  on  Holy  Thursday  (March 
23,  1307)  the  last  entrenchments  were  carried.  The  resistance 
had  been  stubborn,  and  again  the  Rio  Carnaschio  ran  red  with 
blood.  No  quarter  was  given.  "  On  that  day  more  than  a  thou- 
sand of  the  heretics  perished  in  the  flames,  or  in  the  river,  or  by 
the  sword,  in  the  cruellest  of  deaths.  Thus  they  who  made  sport 
of  God  the  Eternal  Father  and  of  the  Catholic  faith  came,  on  the 
day  of  the  Last  Supper,  through  hunger,  steel,  fire,  pestilence,  and 
all  wretchedness,  to  shame  and  disgraceful  death,  as  they  deserved." 


*  Hist.  Dulcin.  (Muratori  IX.  434,437-8). 
t  Hist.  Dulcin.  (lb.  439-40). 


US  GUGLIELMA   AND    DOLCINO. 

Strict  orders  had  been  given  by  the  bishop  to  capture  alive  Dol- 
cino  and  his  two  chief  subordinates,  Margherita  and  Longino  Cat- 
taneo,  and  great  were  the  rejoicings  when  they  were  brought  to 
him  on  Saturday,  at  the  castle  of  Biella.* 

Xo  case  could  be  clearer  than  theirs,  and  yet  the  bishop  deemed 
it  necessary  to  consult  Pope  Clement — a  perfectly  superfluous 
ceremony,  explicable  perhaps,  as  Gallenga  suggests,  by  the  oppor- 
tunity which  it  afforded  of  begging  assistance  for  his  ruined  dio- 
cese and  exhausted  treasury.  Clement's  avarice  responded  in  a 
niggardly  fashion,  though  the  extravagant  paean  of  triumph  in 
which  the  pope  hastened  to  announce  the  glad  tidings  to  Philippe  le 
Bel  on  the  same  evening  in  which  he  received  them  shows  how 
deep  was  the  anxiety  caused  by  the  audacious  revolt  of  the  handful 
of  Dolcinists.  The  Bishops  of  Yercelli,  2s  ovara,  and  Pavia,  and  the 
Abbot  of  Lucedio  were  granted  the  first  fruits  of  all  benefices  be- 
coming vacant  during  the  next  three  years  in  their  respective  ter- 
ritories, and  the  former,  in  addition,  was  exempted  during  life  from 
the  exactions  of  papal  legates,  with  some  other  privileges.  While 
awaiting  this  response  the  prisoners  were  kept,  chained  hand  and 
foot  and  neck,  in  the  dungeon  of  the  Inquisition  at  Vercelli,  with 
numerous  guards  posted  to  prevent  a  rescue,  indicating  a  knowl- 
edge that  there  existed  deep  popular  sympathy  for  the  rebels 
against  State  and  Church.  The  customary  efforts  were  made  to 
procure  confession  and  abjuration,  but  while  the  prisoners  boldly 
affirmed  their  faith  they  were  deaf  to  all  offers  of  reconciliation. 
Dolcino  even  persisted  in  his  prophecies  that  Antichrist  would 
appear  in  three  years  and  a  half,  when  he  and  his  followers  would 
be  translated  to  Paradise ;  that  after  the  death  of  Antichrist  he 
would  return  to  the  earth  to  be  the  holy  pope  of  the  new  church, 
when  all  the  infidels  would  be  converted.  About  two  months 
passed  away  before  Clement's  orders  were  received,  that  they 
should  be  tried  and  punished  at  the  scene  of  their  crimes.  The 
customary  assembly  of  experts  was  convened  in  Yercelli ;  there 
could  be  no  doubt  as  to  their  guilt,  and  they  were  abandoned  to 

*  Hist.  Dulcin.  (Muratori  IX.  439). 

Ptolemy  of  Lucca,  who  is  good  contemporaneous  authority,  puts  the  number 
of  those  captured  with  Dolcino  at  one  hundred  and  fifty,  and  of  those  who 
perished  through  exposure  and  by  the  sword  at  only  about  three  hundred 
—Hist.  Eccles.  Lib.  xxiv.  (Muratori  XI.  1227). 


DOLCINO'S    PUNISHMENT.  H9 

the  secular  arm.  For  the  superfluous  cruelty  which  followed  the 
Church  was  not  responsible ;  it  was  the  expression  of  the  terror 
of  the  secular  authorities,  leading  them  to  repress  by  an  awful 
example  the  ever-present  danger  of  a  peasant  revolt.  On  June 
1,  1307,  the  prisoners  were  brought  forth.  Margherita's  beauty 
moved  all  hearts  to  compassion,  and  this,  coupled  with  the  reports 
of  her  wealth,  led  many  nobles  to  offer  her  marriage  and  pardon 
if  she  would  abjure,  but,  constant  to  her  faith  and  to  Dolcino,  she 
preferred  the  stake.  She  was  slowly  burned  to  death  before  his 
eyes,  and  then  commenced  his  more  prolonged  torture.  Mounted 
on  a  cart,  provided  with  braziers  to  keep  the  instruments  of  tor- 
ment heated,  he  was  slowly  driven  along  the  roads  through  that 
long  summer  day  and  torn  gradually  to  pieces  with  red-hot  pincers. 
The  marvellous  constancy  of  the  man  was  shown  by  his  enduring 
it  without  rewarding  his  torturers  with  a  single  change  of  feature. 
Only  when  his  nose  was  wrenched  off  was  observed  a  slight  shiver 
in  the  shoulders,  and  when  a  yet  crueller  pang  was  inflicted,  a 
single  sigh  escaped  him.  While  he  was  thus  dying  in  linger- 
ing torture  Longino  Cattaneo,  at  Biella,  was  similarly  utilized  to 
afford  a  salutary  warning  to  the  people.  Thus  the  enthusiasts 
expiated  their  dreams  of  the  regeneration  of  mankind.* 

Complete  as  was  Dolcino's  failure,  his  character  and  his  fate 
left  an  ineffaceable  impression  on  the  population.  The  Parete 
Calvo,  his  first  mountain  refuge,  was  considered  to  be  haunted  by 
evil  spirits,  whom  he  had  left  to  guard  a  treasure  buried  in*  a 
cave,  and  who  excited  such  tempests  when  any  one  invaded  their 
domain  that  the  people  of  Triverio  were  forced  to  maintain  guards 
to  warn  off  persistent  treasure -seekers.     Still  stronger  was  the 

*  Mariotti  (A.  Galenga),  Fra  Dolcino  and  his  Times,  London,  1853,  pp.  287- 
88— Regest.  Clement.  PP.  V.  T.  II.  pp.  79-82,  88  (Ed.  Benedictina,  Romae,1886). 
— Mosheims  Ketzergeschichte  I,  395.— Ughelli,  Italia  Sacra,  Ed.  1652,  IV.  1104- 
8.— Hist.  Dulcin.  (Muratori  IX.  436,  440).— Benv.  da  Imola  (Muratori  Antiq.  III. 
460).— Bernard.  Guidon.  Vit.  Clement.  PP.  V.  (Muratori  III.  I.  674).— Bescape, 
loc.  cit. 

The  punishment  inflicted  on  Dolcino  and  Longino  was  not  exceptional.  By 
a  Milanese  statute  of  1393  all  secret  attempts  upon  the  life  of  any  member  of  a 
family  with  whom  the  criminal  lived  were  subject  to  a  penalty  precisely  the 
same  in  all  details,  except  that  it  ended  by  attaching  the  offender  to  a  wheel 
and  leaving  him  to  perish  in  prolonged  agony. — Antiqua  Ducum  Mediolani 
Decreta,  p.  187  (Mediolani,  1654). 


120  GUGLIELMA    AND    DOLCINO. 

influence  which  he  exerted  upon  his  fastness  on  Monte  Rubello. 
It  became  known  as  the  Monte  dei   Gazzari,  and  to  it,  as  to  an 
accursed  spot,  priests  grew  into  the  habit  of  consigning  demons 
whom  they  exorcised  on  account  of  hail-storms.     The  result  of 
this  was  that  the  congregated  spirits  caused  such  fearful  tempests 
that  the  neighboring  lands  were  ruined,  the  harvests  were  yearly 
destroyed,  and  the  people  reduced  to  beggary.     Finally,  as  a  cure, 
the  inhabitants  of  Triverio  vowed  to  God  and  to  St.  Bernard  that 
if  they  were  relieved  they  would  build  on  the  top  of  the  mountain 
a  chapel  to  St.  Bernard.     This  was  done,  and  the  mountain  thus 
acquired  its  modern  name  of  Monte  San  Bernardo.    Every  year  on 
June  15,  the  feast  of  St.  Bernard,  one  man  from  every  hearth  in 
the  surrounding   parishes  marched  with   their  priests  in  solemn 
procession,  bearing  crosses  and  banners,  and  celebrating  solemn 
services,  in  the  presence  of  crowds  assembled  to  gain  the  pardons 
granted  by  the  pope,  and  to  share  in  a  distribution  of  bread  pro- 
vided by  a  special  levy  made  on  the  parishes  of   Triverio  and 
Portola,     This  custom  lasted  till  the  French  invasion  under  Xa- 
poleon.     Renewed  in  1S15,  it  was  discontinued  on  account  of  the 
disorders  which  attended  it.     Again  resumed  in  1S39,  it  was  ac- 
companied with  a  hurricane  which  is  still  in  the  Yalsesia  attributed 
to  the  heresiarch,  and  even  to  the  present  day  the  mountaineers 
see  on  the  mountain-crest  a  procession  of  Dolcinists  during  the 
night  before  its  celebration.     Dolcino's  name  is  still  remembered 
in  the  valleys  as  that  of  a  great  man  who  perished  in  the  effort  to 
free  the  populations  from  temporal  and  spiritual  tyranny.- 

Dolcino  and  his  immediate  band  of  followers  were  thus  ex- 
terminated, but  there  remained  the  thousands  of  Apostles,  scattered 
throughout  the  land,  who  cherished  their  belief  in  secret.  Under 
the  skilful  hand  of  the  Inquisition,  the  harmless  eccentricities  of 
Segarelli  were  hardened  and  converted  into  a  strongly  antisacer- 
dotal  heresy,  antagonistic  to  Eome,  precisely  as  we  have  seen  the 
same  result  with  the  exaggerated  asceticism  of  the  Olivists.  There 
was  much  in  common  between  the  sects,  for  both  drew  their 
inspiration  from  the  Everlasting  Gospel.  Like  the  Olivists,  the 
Apostles  held  that  Christ  had  withdrawn  his  authority  from  the 

*  A.  Artiaco  (Rivista  Cristiana,  1877, 145-51).— Hist.  Dulcin.  (Muratori  IX. 
441-2).— Baggiolini,  pp.  165-71. 


THE    ORDER    OF    APOSTLES.  121 

Church  of  Rome  on  account  of  its  wickedness ;  it  was  the  Whore 
of  Babylon,  and  all  spiritual  power  was  transferred  to  the  Spiritual 
Congregation,  or  Order  of  Apostles,  as  they  styled  themselves. 
As  time  passed  on  without  the  fulfilment  of  the  apocalyptic 
promises,  as  Frederic  of  Trinacria  did  not  develop  into  a  deliverer, 
and  as  Antichrist  delayed  his  appearance,  they  seem  to  have  aban- 
doned these  hopes,  or  at  least  to  have  repressed  their  expression, 
but  they  continued  to  cherish  the  belief  that  they  had  attained 
spiritual  perfection,  releasing  them  from  all  obedience  to  man,  and 
that  there  was  no  salvation  outside  of  their  community.  Anti- 
sacerdotalism  was  thus  developed  to  the  fullest  extent.  There 
seems  to  have  been  no  organization  in  the  Order.  Reception  was 
performed  by  the  simplest  of  ceremonies,  either  in  church  before 
the  altar  or  in  any  other  place.  The  postulant  stripped  himself 
of  all  his  garments,  in  sign  of  renunciation  of  all  property  and  of 
entering  into  the  perfect  state  of  evangelical  poverty ;  he  uttered 
no  vows,  but  in  his  heart  he  promised  to  live  henceforth  in  poverty. 
After  this  he  was  never  to  receive  or  carry  money,  but  was  to  live 
on  alms  spontaneously  offered  to  him,  and  was  never  to  reserve 
anything  for  the  morrow.  He  made  no  promise  of  obedience  to 
mortal  man,  but  only  to  God,  to  whom  alone  he  was  subject,  as 
were  the  apostles  to  Christ.  Thus  all  the  externals  of  religion 
were  brushed  aside.  Churches  were  useless ;  a  man  could  better 
worship  Christ  in  the  woods,  and  prayer  to  God  was  as  effective 
in  a  pigsty  as  in  a  consecrated  building.  Priests  and  prelates  and 
monks  were  a  detriment  to  the  faith.  Tithes  should  only  be  given 
to  those  whose  voluntary  poverty  rendered  it  superfluous.  Though 
the  sacrament  of  penitence  was  not  expressly  abrogated,  yet  the 
power  of  the  keys  was  virtually  annulled  by  the  principle  that  no 
pope  could  absolve  for  sin  unless  he  were  as  holy  as  St.  Peter, 
living  in  perfect  poverty  and  humility,  abstaining  from  war  and 
persecution,  and  permitting  every  one  to  dwell  in  liberty  ;  and,  as 
all  prelates,  from  the  time  of  Silvester,  had  been  seducers  and 
prevaricators,  excepting  only  Fra  Pier  di  Morrone  (Celestin  V.), 
it  followed  that  the  indulgences  and  pardons  so  freely  hawked 
around  Christendom  were  worthless.  One  error  they  shared  with 
the  Waldenses — the  prohibition  of  oaths,  even  in  a  court  of  justice.* 


Addit.  ad  Hist.  Dulcin.  (Muratori  IX.  4oo-7).— Bern.  Guidon.  Pract.  P.  v. 


122  GUGLIELMA  AND  DOLCINO. 

The  description  which  Bernard  Gui  gives  of  the  Apostles,  in 
order  to  guide  his  brother  inquisitors  in  their  detection,  shows  how 
fully  they  carried  into  practice  the  precepts  of  their  simple  creed. 
They  wore  a  special  habit,  closely  approaching  a  conventual  garb 
—  probably  the  white  mantle  and  cord  adopted  by  Segarelli. 
They  presented  all  the  exterior  signs  of  saintliness.  As  they 
wandered  along  the  roads  and  through  the  streets  they  sang 
hymns,  or  uttered  prayers  and  exhortations  to  repentance.  What- 
ever was  spontaneously  set  before  them  they  ate  with  thankful- 
ness, and  when  appetite  was  satisfied  they  left  what  might  remain 
and  carried  nothing  with  them.  In  their  humble  fashion  they 
seem  to  have  imitated  the  apostles  as  best  they  could,  and  to  have 
carried  poverty  to  a  pitch  which  Angelo  da  Clarino  himself  might 
have  envied.  Bernard  Gui,  in  addition,  deplores  their  intractable 
obstinacy,  and  adduces  a  case  in  which  he  had  kept  one  of  them 
in  prison  for  two  years,  subjecting  him  to  frequent  examination, 
before  he  was  brought  to  confession  and  repentance  —  by  what 
gentle  persuasives  we  may  readily  guess." 

All  this  may  seem  to  us  the  most  harmless  of  heresies,  and  yet 
the  impression  produced  by  the  exploits  of  Dolcino  caused  it  to 
be  regarded  as  one  of  the  most  formidable ;  and  the  earnestness 
of  the  sectaries  in  making  converts  was  rendered  dangerous  by 
their  drawing  their  chief  arguments  from  the  evil  lives  of  the 
clergy.  When  the  Brethren  of  the  Free  Spirit  were  condemned 
in  the  Clementines,  Bernard  Gui  wrote  earnestly  to  John  XXII., 
urging  that  a  clause  should  be  inserted  including  the  Apostles, 
whom  he  described  as  growing  like  weeds  and  spreading  from 
Italy  to  Languedoc  and  Spain.  This  is  probably  one  of  the  exag- 
gerations customary  in  such  matters,  but  about  this  time  a  Dol- 
cinist  named  Jacopo  da  Querio  was  discovered  and  burned  in  Avi- 
gnon. In  1316  Bernard  Gui  found  others  within  his  own  district, 
when  his  energetic  proceedings  soon  drove  the  poor  wretches  across 
the  Pyrenees,  and  he  addressed  urgent  letters  to  all  the  prelates 
of  Spain,  describing  them  and  calling  for  their  prompt  extermina- 
tion, which  resulted,  as  mentioned  in  a  former  chapter,  in  the  ap- 
prehension of  five  of  the  heretics  at  far-off  Compostella,  doubtless 
the  remnants  of  the  disciples  of  the  Apostle  Richard.     Possibly 


*  Bernard.  Guidon.  Pmctica  P.  v. 


PERSECUTION    OF    THE    APOSTLES.  123 

this  may  have  driven  some  of  them  back  to  France  for  safety,  for 
in  the  auto  of  September,  1322,  at  Toulouse,  there  figures  the  Gali- 
cian  already  referred  to  named  Pedro  de  Lugo,  who  had  been 
strenuously  labored  with  for  a  year  in  prison,  and  on  his  abjura- 
tion was  incarcerated  for  life  on  bread  and  water.  In  the  same 
auto  there  was  another  culprit  whose  fate  illustrates  the  horror 
and  terror  inspired  by  the  doctrines  of  the  Dolcinists.  Guillem 
Ruffi  had  been  previously  forced  to  abjuration  as  a  Beguine,  and 
subsequently  had  betrayed  two  of  his  former  associates,  one  of 
whom  had  been  burned  and  the  other  imprisoned.  This  would 
seem  to  be  sufficient  proof  of  his  zeal  for  orthodoxy,  and  yet, 
when  he  happened  to  state  that  in  Italy  there  were  Fraticelli 
who  held  that  no  one  was  perfect  who  could  not  endure  the 
test  of  continence  above  alluded  to,  adding  that  he  had  tried 
the  experiment  himself  with  success,  and  had  taught  it  to  more 
than  one  woman,  this  was  considered  sufficient,  and  without  any- 
thing further  against  him  he  was  incontinently  burned  as  a  re- 
lapsed heretic* 

In  spite  of  Bernard  Gui's  exaggerated  apprehensions,  the  sect, 
although  it  continued  to  exist  for  some  time,  gave  no  further  seri- 
ous trouble.  The  Council  of  Cologne  in  1306  and  that  of  Treves 
in  1310  allude  to  the  Apostles,  showing  that  they  were  not  un- 
known in  Germany.  Yet  about  1335  so  well-informed  a  writer  as 
Alvar  Pelayo  speaks  of  Dolcino  as  a  Beghard,  showing  how  soon 
the  memory  of  the  distinctive  characteristics  of  the  sect  had  faded 
away.  At  this  very  time,  however,  a  certain  Zoppio  was  secretly 
spreading  the  heresy  at  Kieti,  where  it  seems  to  have  found  nu- 
merous converts,  especially  among  the  women.  Attention  being 
called  to  it,  Fra  Simone  Filippi,  inquisitor  of  the  Koman  province, 
hastened  thither,  seized  Zoppio,  and  after  examining  him  delivered 
him  to  the  authorities  for  safe-keeping.  When  he  desired  to  pro- 
ceed with  the  trial  the  magistrates  refused  to  surrender  the  pris- 
oner, and  abused  the  inquisitor.  Benedict  XII.  was  appealed  to, 
who  scolded  roundly  the  recalcitrant  officials  for  defending  a  her- 
esy so  horrible  that  decency  forbids  his  describing  it ;  he  threat- 


*  Addit.  ad  Hist.  Dulcin.  (Muratori  IX.  458).— Bernard.  Guidon.  Practica  P.  v. 
—Bernard.  Guidon.  Gravam.  (Doat,  XXX.  120-4).— Raym.  de  Fronciacho  (Archiv 
fur  Litt.-  u.  K.  1887,  p.  10,— Lib.  Sententt.  Tnq.  Tolos.  pp.  360-3,  381. 


12-4  GUGLIELMA   AND   DOLCINO. 

ened  them  with  exemplary  punishment  for  continued  contumacy, 
and  promised  that,  if  they  were  afraid  of  damage  to  the  repu- 
tation of  their  women,  the  latter  should  be  mildly  treated  and 
spared  humiliating  penance  on  giving  information  as  to  their  as- 
sociates.* 

After  a  long  interval  we  hear  of  the  Apostles  again  in  Langue- 
doc,  where,  in  1368,  the  Council  of  Lavaur  calls  attention  to  them 
as  wandering  through  the  land  in  spite  of  the  condemnation  of  the 
Holy  See,  and  disseminating  errors  under  an  appearance  of  exter- 
nal piety,  wherefore  they  are  ordered  to  be  arrested  and  punished 
by  the  episcopal  courts.  In  1374  the  Council  of  Xarbonne  deemed 
it  necessary  to  repeat  this  injunction ;  and  we  have  seen  that  in 
1402  and  1403  the  zeal  of  the  Inquisitor  Eylard  was  rewarded  in 
Lubec  and  Wismar  by  the  capture  and  burning  of  two  Apostles. 
This  is  the  last  authentic  record  of  a  sect  which  a  hundred  years 
before  had  for  a  brief  space  inspired  so  wide  a  terror. f 

Closely  allied  with  the  Dolcinists,  and  forming  a  link  between 
them  and  the  German  Brethren  of  the  Free  Spirit,  were  some 
Italian  heretics  known  as  followers  of  the  Spirit  of  Liberty,  of. 
whom  a  few  scattered  notices  have  reached  us.  They  seem  to 
have  avoided  the  pantheism  of  the  Germans,  and  did  not  teach 
the  return  of  the  soul  to  its  Creator,  but  they  adopted  the  danger- 
ous tenet  of  the  perfectibility  of  man,  who  in  this  life  can  become 
as  holy  as  Christ.  This  can  be  accomplished  by  sins  as  well  as 
by  virtues,  for  both  are  the  same  in  the  eye  of  God,  who  directs 
all  things  and  allows  no  human  free-will.  The  soul  is  purified  by 
sin,  and  the  greater  the  pleasure  in  carnal  indulgences  the  more 
nearly  they  represent  God.     There  is  no  eternal  punishment,  but 


*  Concil.  Coloniens.  aim.  1306  c.  1,  2  (Hartzheirn  IY.  100, 102).— Concil.  Tre- 
virens.  aim.  1310  c.  50  (Martene  Thesanr.  IV  250). — Alvar.  Pelag.  de  Planctu  Ec- 
cles.  Lib.  n.  art.  lii.  (fol.  166,  172,  Ed.  1517).— Wadding,  aim.  1335,  No.  8-9.— Ray 
nald.ann.  1335,  No.  62. 

t  Concil.  Vaurens.  aim.  1368  c.  24  ;  Concil.  Narbonn.  aim.  1374  c.  5  (Harduin. 
VII.  1818,  1880).— Herman.  Corneri  Chron.  ann.  1260,  1402  (Eccard.  Corp.  Hist. 
Med.  ^Evi  11.906,1185). 

I  have  already  referred  (Vol.  II.  p.  429)  to  the  persecution  at  Prague,  in  1315,  of 
some  heretics  whom  Dubravius  qualifies  as  Dolcinists,  but  who  probably  were 
Waldenses  and  Luciferans. 


THE    "SPIRIT    OF    LIBERTY.''  125 

souls  not  sufficiently  purified  in  this  life  undergo  purgation  until 
admitted  to  heaven.* 

We  first  hear  of  these  sectaries  as  appaaring  among  the  Fran- 
ciscans of  Assisi,  where,  under  active  proceedings,  seven  of  the 
friars  confessed,  abjured,  and  were  sentenced  to  perpetual  prison. 
When,  in  1309,  Clement  V.  sought  to  settle  the  points  in  dispute 
between  the  Spirituals  and  Conventuals,  the  first  of  the  four  pre- 
liminary questions  which  he  put  to  the  contending  factions  related 
to  the  connection  between  the  Order  and  this  heresy,  of  which 
both  sides  promptly  sought  to  clear  themselves.  The  next  refer- 
ence to  them  is  in  April,  1311,  Avhen  they  were  said  to  be  multi- 
plying rapidly  in  Spoleto,  among  both  ecclesiastics  and  laymen, 
and  Clement  sent  thither  Raimundo,  Bishop  of  Cremona,  to  stamp 
out  the  new  heresy.  The  effort  was  unavailing,  for  in  1327,  at 
Florence,  Donna  Lapina,  belonging  to  the  sect  "  of  the  Spirit " 
whose  members  believed  themselves  impeccable,  was  condemned 
by  Fra  Accursio,  the  inquisitor,  to  confiscation  and  wearing  crosses  ; 
and  in  1329  Fra  Bartolino  da  Perugia,  in  announcing  a  general  in- 
quisition to  be  made  of  the  province  of  Assisi,  enumerates  the  new 
heresy  of  the  Spirit  of  Liberty  among  those  which  he  proposes  to 
suppress.  More  important  was  the  case  of  Domenico  Savi  of  As- 
coli,  who  was  regarded  as  a  man  of  the  most  exemplary  piety.  In 
1337  he  abandoned  wife  and  children  for  a  hermit's  life,  and  the 
bishop  built  for  him  a  cell  and  oratory.  This  gave  him  still  greater 
repute,  and  his  influence  was  such  that  when  he  began  to  dissemi- 
nate the  doctrines  of  the  Spirit  of  Liberty,  which  he  undertook  by 
means  of  circulating  written  tracts,  the  number  of  his  followers  is 
reckoned  at  ten  thousand.  It  was  not  long  before  this  attracted 
the  attention  of  the  Inquisition.  He  was  tried,  and  recanted,  while 
his  writings  were  ordered  to  be  burned.  His  convictions,  how- 
ever, were  too  strong  to  allow  him  to  remain  orthodox.  He  re- 
lapsed, was  tried  a  second  time,  appealed  to  the  pope,  and  was 
finally  condemned  by  the  Holy  See  in  1344,  when  he  was  handed 
over  to  the  secular  arm  and  burned  at  Ascoli.     As  nothing  is  said 


*  MS.  Bibl.  Casanatense  A.  iv.  49.— I  owe  the  communication  of  this  docu- 
ment to  the  kindness  of  M.  Charles  Molinier.  See  also  Amati,  Archivio  Storico 
Italiano,  No.  38,  p.  14. 

For  the  connection  between  these  heretics  and  the  Dolcinists,  compare  Ar- 
chiv  fiir  Lit.-  u.  Kirchengeschichte,  1886,  p.  131,  with  1887,  pp.  123-4. 


126  GUGLIELMA   AND    DOLCINO. 

about  the  fate  of  his  disciples  it  may  be  assumed  that  they  escaped 
by  abjuration.  He  is  usually  classed  with  the  Fraticelli,  but  the 
errors  attributed  to  him  bear  no  resemblance  to  those  of  that  sect, 
and  are  evidently  exaggerations  of  the  doctrines  of  the  Spirit  of 
Liberty.* 

Before  dismissing  the  career  of  Dolcino,  it  may  be  worth  while 
to  cast  a  passing  glance  at  that  of  a  modern  prophet  which,  like 
the  cases  of  the  modern  Guglielmites,  teaches  us  that  such  spiritual 
phenomena  are  common  to  all  ages,  and  that  even  in  our  colder 
and  more  rationalistic  time  the  mysteries  of  human  nature  are  the 
same  as  in  the  thirteenth  century. 

Dolcino  merely  organized  a  movement  which  had  been  in  prog- 
ress for  nearly  half  a  century,  and  which  was  the  expression  of 
a  widely  diffused  sentiment.  David  Lazzaretti  of  Arcidosso  was 
both  founder  and  martyr.  A  wagoner  in  the  mountains  of  south- 
ern Tuscany,  his  herculean  strength  and  ready  speech  made  him 
widely  known  throughout  his  native  region,  when  a  somewhat 
wild  and  dissipated  youth  was  suddenly  converted  into  an  ascetic 
of  the  severest  type,  dwelling  in  a  hermitage  on  Monte  Labbro,  and 
honored  with  revelations  from  God.  His  austerities,  his  visions, 
and  his  prophecies  soon  brought  him  disciples,  many  of  whom 
adopted  his  mode  of  life,  and  the  peasants  of  Arcidosso  revered 
him  as  a  prophet.  He  claimed  that,  as  early  as  1848,  he  had  been 
called  to  the  task  of  regenerating  the  world,  and  that  his  sudden 
conversion  was  caused  by  a  vision  of  St.  Peter,  who  imprinted  on 
his  forehead  a  mark  (0  +  C)  in  attestation  of  his  mission.  He 
was  by  no  means  consistent  in  his  successive  stages  of  develop- 
ment. A  patriot  volunteer  in  1860,  he  subsequently  upheld  the 
cause  of  the  Church  against  the  assaults  of  heretic  Germany,  but 
in  1876  his  book, "  My  Struggle  with  God,"  reveals  his  aspirations 
towards  the  headship  of  a  new  faith,  and  describes  him  as  carried 
to  heaven  and  discoursing  with  God,  though  he  still  professed 
himself  faithful  to  Rome  and  to  the  papacy.  The  Church  dis- 
dained his  aid  and  condemned  his  errors,  and  he  became  a  heresi- 


*  Archiv  fur  Litt.-  u.  Kirchengeschichte,  1887,  pp.  51,  144-5. — Raynald.  aim. 
1311,  No.  66-70  :  aim.  1318,  No.  44.— Archiv.  di  Firenze,  Prov.  S.  Maria  Novella, 
1327,  Ott.  31.— Franz  Ehrle,  Archiv  fur  Lit.-  n.  Kirchengeschichte,  1885,  p.  160. 
— D'Argentre  I.  i.  33G-7.—  Cantu,  Eretici  d'ltalia,  1. 133.. 


DAVID    LAZZARETTI.  127 

arch.  In  the  spring  of  1878  he  urged  the  adoption  of  sacerdotal 
marriage,  he  disregarded  fast-days,  administered  communion  to  his 
disciples  in  a  rite  of  his  own,  and  composed  for  them  a  creed  of 
which  the  twenty -fourth  article  was,  "  I  believe  that  our  founder, 
David  Lazzaretti,  the  anointed  of  the  Lord,  judged  and  condemned 
by  the  Roman  curia,  is  really  Christ,  the  leader  and  the  judge." 
That  the  people  accepted  him  is  seen  in  the  fact  that  for  three 
successive  Sundays  the  priest  of  Arcidosso  found  his  church  with- 
out a  worshipper.  David  founded  a  "  Society  of  the  Holy  League, 
or  Christian  Brotherhood,"  and  proclaimed  the  coming  Republic 
or  Kingdom  of  God,  when  all  property  should  be  equally  divided. 
Even  this  communism  did  not  frighten  off  the  small  proprietors 
who  constituted  the  greater  portion  of  his  following.  There  was 
general  discontent,  owing  to  a  succession  of  unfortunate  harvests 
and  the  increasing  pressure  of  taxation,  and  when,  on  August  14, 
1878,  he  announced  that  he  would  set  out  with  his  disciples  peace- 
fully to  inaugurate  his  theocratic  republic,  the  whole  population 
gathered  on  Monte  Labbro.  After  four  days  spent  in  religious 
exercises  the  extraordinary  crusade  set  forth,  consisting  of  all  ages 
and  both  sexes,  arrayed  in  a  fantastic  uniform  of  red  and  blue, 
and  bearing  banners  and  garlands  of  flowers  with  which  to  revolu- 
tionize society.  Its  triumphal  march  was  short.  At  the  village 
of  Arcidosso  its  progress  was  disputed  by  a  squad  of  nine  cara- 
bineers, who  poured  volleys  into  the  defenceless  crowd.  Thirty- 
four  of  the  Lazzarettists  fell,  killed  and  wounded,  and  among  them 
David  himself,  with  a  bullet  in  his  brain.*  Whether  he  was  en- 
thusiast or  impostor  may  remain  an  open  question.  Travel  and 
study  had  brought  him  training ;  he  was  no  longer  a  rude  moun- 


*  Barzellotti,  David  Lazzaretti  di  Arcidosso  detto  il  Santo.     Bologna,  1885. 

Somewhat  similar  is  the  career  of  an  ex-sergeant  of  the  Italian  army  named 
Gabriele  Donnici,  who  has  founded  in  the  Calabrian  highlands  a  sect  dignifying 
itself  with  the  title  of  the  Saints.  Gabriele  is  a  prophet  announcing  the  advent 
of  a  new  Messiah,  who  is  to  come  not  as  a  lamb,  but  as  a  lion  breathing  ven- 
geance and  armed  with  bloody  scourges.  He  and  his  brother  Abele  were  tried 
for  the  murder  of  the  wife  of  the  latter,  Grazia  Funaro,  who  refused  to  submit  to 
the  sexual  abominations  taught  in  the  sect.  They  were  condemned  to  hard  labor 
and  imprisonment,  but  were  discharged  on  appeal  to  the  Superior  Court  of  Co- 
senza.  Other  misdeeds  of  the  sectaries  are  at  present  occupying  the  attention  of 
the  Italian  tribunals.— Rivista  Cristiana,  1887,  p.  57. 


123  GUGLIELMA   AND   DOLCINO. 

tain  peasant,  but  could  estimate  the  social  forces  against  which  he 
raised  the  standard  of  revolt,  and  could  recognize  that  they  were 
insuperable  save  to  an  envoy  of  God.  Possibly  on  the  slopes  of 
Monte  Amiata  his  memory  may  linger  like  that  of  Dolcino  in  the 
Yalsesia ;  certain  it  is  that  many  of  his  disciples  long  expected  his 
resurrection. 


CHAPTER   III. 

THE    FRATICELLI. 

AVe  have  seen  how  John  XXII.  created  and  exterminated  the 
heresy  of  the  Spiritual  Franciscans,  and  how  Michele  da  Cesena 
enforced  obedience  within  the  Order  as  to  the  question  of  gran- 
aries and  cellars  and  the  wearing  of  short  and  narrow  gowns. 
The  settlement  of  the  question,  however,  on  so  illogical  a  basis  as 
this  was  impossible,  especially  in  view  of  the  restless  theological 
dogmatism  of  the  pope  and  his  inflexible  determination  to  crush  all 
dissidence  of  opinion.  Having  once  undertaken  to  silence  the  dis- 
cussions over  the  rule  of  poverty  which  had  caused  so  much  trouble 
for  nearly  a  century,  his  logical  intellect  led  him  to  carry  to  their 
legitimate  conclusions  the  principles  involved  in  his  bulls  Quorum- 
dam,  Sancta  Romana,  and  Gloriosam  Eeclesiam,  while  his  thorough 
worldliness  rendered  him  incapable  of  anticipating  the  storm 
which  he  would  provoke.  A  character  such  as  his  was  unable  to 
comprehend  the  honest  inconsistency  of  men  like  Michele  and 
Bonagrazia,  who  could  burn  their  brethren  for  refusing  to  have 
granaries  and  cellars,  and  who,  at  the  same  time,  were  ready  to 
endure  the  stake  in  vindication  of  the  absolute  poverty  of  Christ 
and  the  apostles,  which  had  so  long  been  a  fundamental  belief  of 
the  Order,  and  had  been  proclaimed  as  irrefragable  truth  in  the 
bull  Exiit  qui  seminat. 

In  fact,  under  a  pope  of  the  temperament  of  John,  the  ortho- 
dox Franciscans  had  a  narrow  and  dangerous  path  to  tread.  The 
Spirituals  were  burned  as  heretics  because  they  insisted  on  follow- 
ing their  own  conception  of  the  Rule  of  Francis,  and  the  distinc- 
tion between  this  and  the  official  recognition  of  the  obligation,  of 
poverty  was  shadowy  in  the  extreme.  The  Dominicans  were  not 
slow  to  recognize  the  dubious  position  of  their  rivals,  nor  averse 
to  take  advantage  of  it.  If  they  could  bring  the  received  doc- 
trines of  the  Franciscan  Order  within  the  definition  of  the  new 
III.— 9 


130  THE    FRATICELLI. 

heresy  they  would  win  a  triumph  that  might  prove  permanent. 
The  situation  was  so  artificial  and  so  untenable  that  a  catastrophe 
was  inevitable,  and  it  might  be  precipitated  by  the  veriest  trifle. 

In  1321,  when  the  persecution  of  the  Spirituals  was  at  its 
height,  the  Dominican  inquisitor,  Jean  de  Beaune,  whom  we  have 
seen  as  the  colleague  of  Bernard  Gui  and  the  jailer  of  Bernard 
Delicieux,  was  engaged  at  Xarbonne  in  the  trial  of  one  of  the  pro- 
scribed sect.  To  pass  judgment  he  summoned  an  assembly  of  ex- 
perts, among  whom  was  the  Franciscan  Berenger  Talon,  teacher 
in  the  convent  of  Xarbonne.  One  of  the  errors  which  he  repre- 
sented the  culprit  as  entertaining  was  that  Christ  and  the  apostles, 
following  the  way  of  perfection,  had  held  no  possessions,  individu- 
ally or  in  common.  As  this  was  the  universal  Franciscan  doctrine, 
we  can  only  regard  it  as  a  challenge  when  he  summoned  Frere 
Berenger  to  give  his  opinion  respecting  it.  Berenger  thereupon 
replied  that  it  was  not  heretical,  having  been  defined  as  orthodox 
in  the  decretal  Exiit,  when  the  inquisitor  hotly  demanded  that  he 
should  recant  on  the  spot.  The  position  was  critical,  and  Beren- 
ger, to  save  himself  from  prosecution,  interjected  an  appeal  to  the 
pope.  He  hastened  to  Avignon,  but  found  that  Jean  de  Beaune 
had  been  before  him.  He  was  arrested ;  the  Dominicans  every- 
where took  up  the  question,  and  the  pope  allowed  it  to  be  clearly 
seen  that  his  sympathies  were  with  them.  Yet  the  subject  was  a 
dangerous  one  for  disputants,  as  the  bull  Exiit  had  anathematized 
all  who  should  attempt  to  gloss  or  discuss  its  decisions ;  and,  as  a 
preliminary  to  reopening  the  question,  John  was  obliged,  March 
26,  1322,  to  issue  a  special  bull,  Quia  nonnunquam,  wherein  he 
suspended,  during  his  pleasure,  the  censures  pronounced  in  Exiit 
qui  seminat.  Having  thus  intimated  that  the  Church  had  erred 
in  its  former  definition,  he  proceeded  to  lay  before  his  prelates 
and  doctors  the  significant  question  whether  the  pertinacious  as- 
sertion that  Christ  and  the  apostles  possessed  nothing  individually 
or  in  common  was  a  heresy.* 

The  extravagances  of  the  Spirituals  had  borne  their  fruit,  and 
there  was  a  reaction  against  the  absurd  laudation  of  poverty  which 
had  grown  to  be  a  fetich.     This  bore  hard  on  those  who  had  been 


*  Nicholans  Minorita  (Baluz.  et  Mansi  III.  207). — Chron.  Glassberger  ann. 
1321— Wadding,  ann.  1321,  No.  16-19;  ann.  1322,  No.  49-50. 


REACTION    AGAINST    DOCTRINE    OF    POVERTY.     131 

conscientiously  trained  in  the  belief  that  the  abnegation  of  prop- 
erty was  the  surest  path  to  salvation ;  but  the  follies  of  the  ascetics 
had  become  uncomfortable,  if  not  dangerous,  and  it  was  necessary 
for  the  Church  to  go  behind  its  teachings  since  the  days  of  Antony 
and  Hilarion  and  Simeon  Stylites,  to  recur  to  the  common-sense  of 
the  gospel,  and  to  admit  that,  like  the  Sabbath,  religion  was  made 
for  man  and  not  man  for  religion.  In  a  work  written  some  ten 
years  after  this  time,  Alvar  Pelayo,  papal  penitentiary  and  himself 
a  Franciscan,  treats  the  subject  at  considerable  length,  and  doubt- 
less represents  the  views  which  found  favor  with  John.  The 
anchorite  should  be  wholly  dead  to  the  world  and  should  never 
leave  his  hermitage ;  memorable  is  the  abbot  who  refused  to  open 
his  door  to  his  mother  for  fear  his  eye  should  rest  upon  her,  and 
not  less  so  the  monk  who,  when  his  brother  asked  him  to  come  a 
little  way  and  help  him  with  a  foundered  ox,  replied, "  Why  dost 
thou  not  ask  thy  brother  who  is  yet  in  the  world  ?"  "  But  he  has 
been  dead  these  fifteen  vears !"  "  And  I  have  been  dead  to  the 
world  these  twenty  years  !"  Short  of  this  complete  renunciation, 
all  men  should  earn  their  living  by  honest  labor.  In  spite  of  the 
illustrious  example  of  the  sleepless  monks  of  Dios,  the  apostolic 
command  "Pray  without  ceasing"  (Thessal.  v.  17)  is  not  to  be 
taken  literally.  The  apostles  had  money  and  bought  food  (John 
iv.  8),  and  Judas  carried  the  purse  of  the  Lord  (John  xn.  6).  Bet- 
ter than  a  life  of  beggary  is  one  blessed  by  honest  labor,  as  a 
swineherd,  a  shepherd,  a  cowherd,  a  mason,  a  blacksmith,  or  a 
charcoal-burner,  for  a  man  is  thus  fulfilling  the  purpose  of  his  cre- 
ation. It  is  a  sin  for  the  able-bodied  to  live  on  charity,  and  thus 
usurp  the  alms  due  to  the  sick,  the  infirm,  and  the  aged.  All  this 
is  a  lucid  interval  of  common-sense,  but  what  would  Aquinas  or 
Bonaventura  have  said  to  it,  for  it  sounds  like  the  echo  of  their 
great  antagonist.  William  of  Saint- Amour  ?* 


*  Alvar.  Pelag.  de  Planctu  Ecclesiae  Lib.  i.  Art.  51.  fol.  165-9. 

In  fact,  the  advocates  of  poverty  did  not  miss  the  easy  opportunity  of  stigma- 
tizing their  antagonists  as  followers  of  William  of  Saint-Amour.  See  Tocco, 
uUn  Codice  della  Marciana,"  Venezia,  1887,  pp.  12,  39  (Ateneo  Veneto,  1§86- 
1887). 

The  MS.  of  which  Professor  Tocco  has  here  printed  the  most  important  por- 
tions, with  elucidatory  notes,  is  a  collection  of  the  responses  made  to  the  question 
submitted  for  discussion  by  John  XXII.  as  to  the  poverty  of  Christ  and  the 


132  THE    FRATICELLI. 

It  was  inevitable  that  the  replies  to  the  question  submitted  by 
John  should  be  adverse  to  the  poverty  of  Christ  and  the  apostles. 
The  bishops  were  universally  assumed  to  be  the  representatives  of 
the  latter,  and  could  not  be  expected  to  relish  the  assertion  that 
their  prototypes  had  been  commanded  by  Christ  to  own  no  prop- 
erty. The  Spirituals  had  made  a  point  of  this.  Olivi  had  proved 
not  only  that  Franciscans  promoted  to  the  episcopate  were  even 
more  bound  than  their  brethren  to  observe  the  Kule  in  all  its 
strictures,  but  that  bishops  in  general  were  under  obligation  to 
live  in  deeper  poverty  than  the  members  of  the  most  perfect  Or- 
der. !Now  that  there  was  a  chance  of  justifying  their  worldliness 
and  luxury,  it  was  not  likely  to  be  lost.  Yet  John  himself  for 
a  while  held  his  own  opinion  suspended.  In  a  debate  before  the 
consistory,  Ubertino  da  Casale,  the  former  leader  of  the  orthodox 
Spirituals,  was  summoned  to  present  the  Franciscan  view  of  the 
poverty  of  Christ,  in  answer  to  the  Dominicans,  and  we  are  told 
that  John  was  greatly  pleased  with  his  argument.  Unluckily,  at 
the  General  Chapter  held  at  Perugia,  May  30, 1322,  the  Francis- 
cans appealed  to  Christendom  at  large  by  a  definition  addressed  to 
all  the  faithful,  in  which  they  proved  that  the  absolute  poverty  of 
Christ  was  the  accepted  doctrine  of  the  Church,  as  set  forth  in 
the  bulls  Exi'it  and  Exivi  de  Paradiso, and  that  John  himself  had 
approved  of  these  in  his  bull  Quorumdam.  Another  and  more 
comprehensive  utterance  to  the  same  effect  received  the  signatures 
of  all  the  Franciscan  masters  and  bachelors  of  theology  in  France 
and  England.     AVith  a  disputant  such  as  John  this  was  an  act  of 


apostles.  They  are  significant  of  the  general  reaction  against  the  previously  pre- 
vailing dogma,  and  of  the  eagerness  with  which,  as  soon  as  the  free  expression 
of  opinion  was  safe,  the  prelates  repudiated  a  doctrine  condemnatory  of  the  tem- 
poralities so  industriously  accumulated  by  all  classes  of  ecclesiastics.  There 
were  but  eight  replies  affirming  the  poverty  of  Christ,  and  these  were  all  from 
Franciscans — the  Cardinals  of  Albano  and  San  Vitale,  the  Archbishop  of  Salerno, 
the  Bishops  of  CafTa,  Lisbon.  Riga,  and  Badajoz.  and  an  unknown  master  of  the 
Order.  On  the  other  side  there  were  fourteen  cardinals,  including  even  Xapoleone 
Orsini,  the  protector  of  the  Spirituals,  and  a  large  number  of  archbishops, 
bishops,  abbots,  and  doctors  of  theology.  It  is  doubtless  true,  however,  that  the 
fear  of  offending  the  pope  was  a  factor  in  producing  this  virtual  unanimity — a 
fear  not  unreasonable,  as  was  shown  by  the  disgrace  and  persecution  of  those  who 
maintained  the  poverty  of  Christ. — (Tocco,  ubi  sup.  p.  35). 


JOHN    XXII.    AROUSED    TO    ANTAGONISM.  133 

more  zeal  than  discretion.  His  passions  were  fairly  aroused,  and 
he  proceeded  to  treat  the  Franciscans  as  antagonists.  In  Decem- 
ber of  the  same  year  he  dealt  them  a  heavy  blow  in  the  bull  Ad 
conditorem,  wherein  with  remorseless  logic  he  pointed  out  the  fal 
lacy  of  the  device  of  Innocent  IV.  for  eluding  the  provisions  of 
the  Rule  by  vesting  the  ownership  of  property  in  the  Holy  See  and 
its  use  in  the  Friars.  It  had  not  made  them  less  eager  in  acquisi- 
tiveness, while  it  had  led  them  to  a  senseless  pride  in  their  own  as- 
serted superiority  of  poverty.  He  showed  that  use  and  consump- 
tion as  conceded  to  them  were  tantamount  to  ownership,  and  that 
pretended  ownership  subject  to  such  usufruct  was  illusory,  while 
it  was  absurd  to  speak  of  Rome  as  owning  an  egg  or  a  piece  of 
cheese  given  to  a  friar  to  be  consumed  on  the  spot.  Moreover,  it 
was  humiliating  to  the  Roman  Church  to  appear  as  plaintiff  or  de- 
fendant in  the  countless  litigations  in  which  the  Order  was  in- 
volved, and  the  procurators  who  thus  appeared  in  its  name  were 
said  to  abuse  their  position  to  the  injury  of  many  who  were  de- 
frauded of  their  rights.  For  these  reasons  he  annulled  the  pro- 
visions of  Nicholas  III.,  and  declared  that  henceforth  no  owner- 
ship in  the  possessions  of  the  Order  should  inhere  in  the  Roman 
Church  and  no  procurator  act  in  its  name.* 

The  blow  was  shrewdly  dealt,  for  though  the  question  of  the 
poverty  of  Christ  was  not  alluded  to,  the  Order  was  deprived  of 
its  subterfuge,  and  was  forced  to  admit  practically  that  ownership 
of  property  was  a  necessary  condition  of  its  existence.  Its  mem- 
bers, however,  had  too  long  nursed  the  delusion  to  recognize  its 
fallacy  now,  and  in  January,  1323,  Bonagrazia,  as  procurator  spe- 
cially commissioned  for  the  purpose,  presented  to  the  pope  in  full 
consistory  a  written  protest  against  his  action.  If  Bonagrazia 
had  not  arguments  to  adduce  he  had  at  least  ample  precedents  to 
cite  in  the  long  line  of  popes  since  Gregory  IX.,  including  John 
himself.     He  wound  up  by  audaciously  appealing  to  the  pope,  to 


*  Franz  Ehrle,  Archiv  fur  Litt.-  u.  K.  1887,  pp.  511-12.— Baluz  et  Mansi  II. 
279-80.— Nicholaus  Minorita  (Ibid.  III.  208-13). 

Curiously  enough,  in  this  John  did  exactly  what  his  special  antagonists,  the 
Spi rituals,  had  desired.  Olivi  had  long  before  pointed  out  the  scandal  of  an 
Order  vowed  to  poverty  litigating  eagerly  for  property  and  using  the  transpa- 
rent cover  of  papal  procurators  (Hist.  Tribulat.  ap.  Archiv  fur  Litt.-  u.  K.  1886, 
p.  298). 


134  THE    FRATICELLI. 

Holy  Mother  Church,  and  to  the  apostles,  and  though  he  concluded 
by  submitting  himself  to  the  decisions  of  the  Church,  he  could  not 
escape  the  wrath  which  he  had  provoked.  It  was  not  many  years 
since  Clement  V.  had  confined  him  for  resisting  too  bitterly  the 
extravagance  of  the  Spirituals :  he  still  consistently  occupied  the 
same  position,  and  now  John  cast  him  into  a  2ou\  and  dismal  dun- 
geon because  he  had  not  moved  with  the  world,  while  the  only 
answer  to  his  protest  was  taking  down  from  the  church  doors  the 
bull  Ad  conditorem  and  replacing  it  with  a  revised  edition,  more 
decided  and  argumentative  than  its  predecessor.* 

All  this  did  not  conduce  to  a  favorable  decision  of  the  question 
as  to  the  poverty  of  Christ.  John  was  now  fairly  enlisted  against 
the  Franciscans,  and  their  enemies  lost  no  opportunity  of  inflaming 
his  passions.  He  would  listen  to  no  defence  of  the  decision  of  the 
Chapter  of  Perugia.  In  consistory  a  Franciscan  cardinal  and  some 
bishops  timidly  ventured  to  suggest  that  possibly  there  might  be 
some  truth  in  it,  when  he  angrily  silenced  them — "  You  are  talking 
heresy  " — and  forced  them  to  recant  on  the  spot.  When  he  heard 
that  the  greatest  Franciscan  schoolman  of  the  day,  William  of 
Ockham,  had  preached  that  it  was  heretical  to  affirm  that  Christ 
and  the  apostles  owned  property,  he  promptly  wrote  to  the  Bishops 
of  Bologna  and  Ferrara  to  investigate  the  truth  of  the  report, 
and  if  it  was  correct  to  cite  Ockham  to  appear  before  him  at 
Avignon  within  a  month.  Ockham  obeyed,  and  we  shall  hereafter 
see  what  came  of  it.f 

The  papal  decision  on  the  momentous  question  was  at  last  put 
forth,  ^November  12,  1323,  in  the  bull  Cum  inter  nonnullos.  In 
this  there  was  no  wavering  or  hesitation.  The  assertion  that 
Christ  and  the  apostles  possessed  no  property  was  flatly  declared 
to  be  a  perversion  of  Scripture;  it  was  denounced  for  the  fut- 
ure as  erroneous  and  heretical,  and  its  obstinate  assertion  by  the 
Franciscan  chapter  was  formally  condemned.  To  the  believers 
in  the  supereminent  holiness  of  poverty,  it  was  stunning  to  find 
themselves  cast  out  as  heretics  for  holding  a  doctrine  which  for 
generations  had  passed  as  an  incontrovertible  truth,  and  had  repeat- 
edly received  the  sanction  of  the  Holy  See  in  its  most  solemn  form 


*  Nicholaus  Minorita  (Bal.  et  Mansi  III.  213-24). 
f  Wadding,  ann.  1323,  No.  3, 15. 


THE    PAPACY    AND    THE    EMPIRE.  135 

of  ratification.  Yet  there  was  no  help  for  it,  and  unless  they  were 
prepared  to  shift  their  belief  with  the  pope,  they  could  only  ex- 
pect to  be  delivered  in  this  world  to  the  Inquisition  and  in  the 
next  to  Satan.* 

Suddenly  there  appeared  a  new  factor  in  the  quarrel,  which 
speedily  gave  it  importance  as  a  political  question  of  the  first  mag- 
nitude. The  sempiternal  antagonism  between  the  papacy  and  the 
empire  had  been  recently  assuming  a  more  virulent  aspect  than 
usual  under  the  imperious  management  of  John  XXII.  Henry 
VII.  had  died  in  1313,  and  in  October,  1311,  there  had  been  a  dis- 
puted election.  Louis  of  Bavaria  and  Frederic  of  Austria  both 
claimed  the  kaisership.  Since  Leo  III.,  in  the  year  800,  had  re- 
newed the  line  of  Roman  emperors  by  crowning  Charlemagne, 
the  ministration  of  the  pope  in  an  imperial  coronation  had  been 
held  essential,  and  had  gradually  enabled  the  Holy  See  to  put 
forward  undefined  claims  of  a  right  to  confirm  the  vote  of  the 
German  electors.  For  the  enforcement  of  such  claims  a  disputed 
election  gave  abundant  opportunity,  nor  were  there  lacking  other 
elements  to  complicate  the  position.  The  Angevine  papalist  King 
of  Naples,  Robert  the  Good,  had  dreams  of  founding  a  great  Ital- 
ian Guelf  monarchy,  to  which  John  XXII.  lent  a  not  unfavorable' 
ear ;  especially  as  his  quarrel  with  the  Ghibelline  Yisconti  of  Lom- 
bardy  was  becoming  unappeasable.  The  traditional  enmity  be- 
tween France  and  Germany,  moreover,  rendered  the  former  eager 
in  everything  that  could  cripple  the  empire,  and  French  influence 
was  necessarily  dominant  in  Avignon.  It  would  be  foreign  to  our 
purpose  to  penetrate  into  the  labyrinth  of  diplomatic  intrigue 
which  speedily  formed  itself  around  these  momentous  questions. 
An  alliance  between  Robert  and  Frederic,  with  the  assent  of  the 
pope,  seemed  to  give  the  latter  assurance  of  recognition,  when 
the  battle  of  Muhldorf,  September  28,  1322,  decided  the  question. 
Frederic  was  a  prisoner  in  the  hands  of  his  rival,  and  there  could 
be  no  further  doubt  as  to  which  of  them  should  reign  in  Germany. 
It  did  not  follow,  however,  that  John  would  consent  to  place  the 
imperial  crown  on  the  head  of  Louis,  t 

*  Nicholaus  Minority  (Bal.  et  Mansi  III.  224). 

t  Carl  Miiller,  Der  Kampf  Ludwigs  des  Baiern  mit  der  romischen  Curie,  §  4. 
— Felten,  Die  Bulle  Ne  pretereat,  Trier,  1885.— Preger,  Die  Politik  des  Pabstes 
Johann  XXII.,  Munchen,  1885,  pp.  44-6. 


136  THE    FRATICELLL 

So  far  was  he  from  contemplating  any  such  action  that  he  still 
insisted  on  deciding  between  the  claims  of  the  competitors.    Louis 
contemptuously  left  his  pretensions  unanswered  and  proceeded  to 
settle  matters  by  concluding  a  treaty  with  his  prisoner  and  setting 
him  free.     Moreover,  he  intervened  effectually  in  the  affairs  of 
Lombardy,  rescued  the  Yisconti  from  the  Guelf  league  which  was 
about  to  overwhelm  them,  and  ruined  the  plans  of  the  cardinal 
legate,  Bertrand  de  Poyet,  John's  nephew  or  son,  who  was  carv- 
ing out  a  principality  for  himself.     It  would  have  required  less 
than  this  to  awaken  the  implacable  hostility  of  such  a  man  as 
John,  whose  only  hope  for  the  success  of  his  Italian  policy  now 
lay  in  dethroning  Louis  and  replacing  him  with  the  French  king, 
Charles  le  Bel.     He  rushed  precipitately  to  the  conflict  and  pro- 
claimed no  quarter.     October  8,  1323,  in  the  presence  of  a  vast 
multitude,  a  bull  was  read  and  affixed  to  the  portal  of  the  cathe- 
dral of  Avignon,  which  declared  not  only  that  no  one  could  act  as 
King  of  the  Romans  until  his  person  had  been  approved  by  the 
pope,  but  repeated  a  claim,  already  made  in  1317,  that  until  such 
approval  the  empire  was  vacant,  and  its  government  during  the 
interregnum  belonged  to  the  Holy  See.     All  of  Louis's  acts  were 
pronounced  null  and  void  ;  he  was  summoned  within  three  months 
to  lay  down  his  power  and  submit  his  person  to  the  pope  for  ap- 
proval, under  pain  of  the  punishments  which  he  had  incurred  by 
his  rebellious  pretence  of  being  emperor ;  all  oaths  of  allegiance 
taken  to  him  were  declared  annulled ;  all  prelates  were  threat- 
ened with  suspension,  and  all  cities  and  states  with  excommuni- 
cation and  interdict  if  they  should  continue  to  obey  him.     Louis 
at  first  received  this  portentous  missive  with  singular  humility. 
November  12  he  sent  to  Avignon  envoys,  who  did  not  arrive  until 
January  2,  1324,  to  ask  whether  the  reports  which  he  had  heard 
of  the  papal  action  were  true,  and  if  so  to  request  a  delay  of  six 
months  in  which  to  prove  his  innocence.     To  this  John,  on  Janu- 
ary 7,  gave  answer  extending  the  term  only  two  months  from  that 
day.     Meanwhile  Louis  had  taken  heart,  possibly  encouraged  by 
the  outbreak  of  the  quarrel  between  John  and  the  Franciscans, 
for  the  date  of  the  credentials  of  the  envoys,  November  12,  was 
the  same  as  that  of  the  bull  Gum  inter  nonnullos.     On  December 
18,  he  issued  the  Nuremberg  Protest,  a  spirited  vindication  of  the 
rights  of  the  German  nation  and  empire  against  the  new  preten- 


THE    PROTEST    OF    S  AC  HSENH  AUSEN.  137 

sions  of  the  papacy ;  he  demanded  the  assembling  of  a  general 
council  before  which  he  would  make  good  his  claims ;  it  was  his 
duty,  as  the  head  of  the  empire,  to  maintain  the  purity  of  the 
faith  against  a  pope  who  was  a  fautor  of  heretics.  It  shows  how 
little  he  yet  understood  about  the  questions  at  issue  that  to  sus- 
tain this  last  charge  he  accused  John  of  unduly  protecting  the 
Franciscans  against  universal  complaints  that  they  habitually  vio- 
lated the  secrecy  of  the  confessional,  this  being  apparently  his 
version  of  the  papal  condemnation  of  John  of  Poilly's  thesis  that 
confession  to  a  Mendicant  friar  was  insufficient.* 

If  Louis  at  first  thought  to  gain  strength  by  thus  utilizing  the 
jealousy  and  dislike  felt  by  the  secular  clergy  towards  the  Men- 
dicants, he  soon  realized  that  a  surer  source  of  support  was  to  be 
found  in  espousing  the  side  of  the  Franciscans  in  the  quarrel  forced 
upon  them  by  John.  The  two  months'  delay  granted  by  John  ex- 
pired March  7  without  Louis  making  an  appearance,  and  on  March 
25  the  pope  promulgated  against  him  a  sentence  of  excommunica- 
tion, with  a  threat  that  he  should  be  deprived  of  all  rights  if  he 
did  not  submit  within  three  months.  To  this  Louis  speedily  re- 
joined in  a  document  known  as  the  Protest  of  Sachsenhausen,  which 
shows  that  since  December  he  had  put  himself  in  communication 
with  the  disaffected  Franciscans,  had  entered  into  alliance  with 
them,  and  had  recognized  how  great  was  the  advantage  of  posing 
as  the  defender  of  the  faith  and  assailing  the  pope  with  the  charge 
of  heresy.  After  paying  due  attention  to  John's  assaults  on  the 
rights  of  the  empire,  the  Protest  takes  up  the  question  of  his 
recent  bulls  respecting  poverty  and  argues  them  in  much  detail. 
John  had  declared  before  Franciscans  of  high  standing  that  for 
forty  years  he  had  regarded  the  Rule  of  Francis  as  fantastic  and 
impossible.  As  the  Eule  was  revealed  by  Christ,  this  alone  proves 
him  to  be  a  heretic.  Moreover,  as  the  Church  is  infallible  in  its 
definitions  of  faith,  and  as  it  has  repeatedly,  through  Honorius 
III.,  Innocent  IV.,  Alexander  IV.,  Innocent  V.,  Nicholas  III.,  and 
Nicholas  IV.,  pronounced  in  favor  of  the  poverty  of  Christ  and  the 
apostles,  John's  condemnation  of  this  tenet  abundantly  shows  him 


*  Carl  Miiller,  op.  cit.  §  5.— Preger,  Politik  des  Pabstes  Johann  XXII.  (Miin- 
chen,  1885,  pp.  7,  54).  —  Martene  Thesaur.  II.  644-51.  —  Raynald.  ann.  1323, 
No.  34-5. 


138  THE    FRATICELLI. 

to  be  a  heretic.  His  two  constitutions,  Ad  conditorem  and  Cum 
inter  nonnullos,  therefore,  have  cut  him  off  from  the  Church  as  a 
manifest  heretic  teaching  a  condemned  heresy,  and  have  disabled 
him  from  the  papacy ;  all  of  which  Louis  swore  to  prove  before  a 
general  council  to  be  assembled  in  some  place  of  safety.* 

John  proceeded  with  his  prosecution  of  Louis  by  a  further  dec- 
laration, issued  July  11,  in  which,  without  deigning  to  notice  the 
Protest  of  Sachsenhausen,  he  pronounced  Louis  to  have  forfeited 
by  his  contumacy  all  claim  to  the  empire ;  further  obstinacy  would 
deprive  him  of  his  ancestral  dukedom  of  Bavaria  and  other  pos- 
sessions, and  he  was  summoned  to  appear  October  1,  to  receive 
final  sentence.  Yet  John  could  not  leave  unanswered  the  assault 
upon  his  doctrinal  position,  and  on  November  10  he  issued  the  bull 
Quia  quoru?nda?n,  in  which  he  argued  that  he  had  exercised  no 
undue  power  in  contradicting  the  decisions  of  his  predecessors :  he 
declared  it  a  condemned  heresy  to  assert  that  Christ  and  the  apos- 
tles had  only  simple  usufruct,  without  legal  possession,  in  the 
things  which  Scripture  declared  them  to  have  possessed,  for  if  this 
were  true  it  would  follow  that  Christ  was  unjust,  which  is  blas- 
phemy. All  who  utter,  write,  or  teach  such  doctrines  fall  into 
condemned  heresy,  and  are  to  be  avoided  as  heretics. f 

Thus  the  poverty  of  Christ  was  fairly  launched  upon  the  world 
as  a  European  question.  It  is  a  significant  illustration  of  the  intel- 
lectual condition  of  the  fourteenth  century  that  in  the  subsequent 


*  Martene  Thesaur.  II.  652-9.— Xich.  Minorita  (Bal.  et  Mansi  III.  224-33). 

The  date  of  the  Protest  of  Sachsenhausen  is  not  positively  known,  but  it  was 
probably  issued  in  April  or  May,  1324  (Miiller,  op.  cit.  I.  357-8).  Its  authorship 
is  ascribed  by  Preger  to  Franz  von  Lautern.  and  Ehrle  has  shown  that  much  of 
its  argumentation  is  copied  literally  from  the  writings  of  Olivi  (Archiv  fur  Litt.- 
u.  Kirchengeschichte,  1887,  540).  When  there  were  negotiations  for  a  settlement 
in  1336,  Louis  signed  a  declaration  prepared  by  Benedict  XII.,  in  which  he  was 
made  to  say  that  the  portions  concerning  the  poverty  of  Christ  were  inserted 
without  his  knowledge  by  his  notary,  Ulric  der  Wilde  for  the  purpose  of  injur- 
ing him  (Raynald  ann.  1336,  No.  31-5);  but  he  accompanied  this  self-abasing 
statement  with  secret  instructions  of  a  very  different  character  (Preger,  Kirchen- 
politische  Kampf,  p.  12). 

t  Martene  Thesaur.  II.  660-71.— Nich.  Minorita  (Bal.  et  Mansi  III.  233-6). 

Even  in  far-off  Ireland  the  bull  of  July  11,  depriving  Louis  of  the  empire,  was 
read  in  all  the  churches  in  English  and  Irish. — Theiner,  Monument.  Hibern.  et 
Scotor.  No.  456,  p.  230. 


MARSIGLIO    OF    PADUA.  139 

stages  of  the  quarrel  between  the  papacy  and  the  empire,  involv- 
ing the  most  momentous  principles  of  public  law,  those  principles, 
in  the  manifestoes  of  either  side,  assume  quite  a  subordinate  posi- 
tion. The  shrewd  and  able  men  who  conducted  the  controversy 
evidently  felt  that  public  opinion  was  much  more  readily  influ- 
enced by  accusations  of  heresy,  even  upon  a  point  so  trivial  and 
unsubstantial,  than  by  appeals  to  reason  upon  the  conflicting  juris- 
dictions of  Church  and  State.*  Yet,  as  the  quarrel  widened  and 
deepened,  and  as  the  stronger  intellects  antagonistic  to  papal  pre- 
tensions gathered  around  Louis,  they  were  able,  in  unwonted  lib- 
erty of  thought  and  speech,  to  investigate  the  theory  of  govern- 
ment and  the  claims  of  the  papacy  with  unheard-of  boldness. 
Unquestionably  they  aided  Louis  in  his  struggle,  but  the  spirit  of 
the  age  was  against  them.  Spiritual  authority  was  still  too  aw- 
ful for  successful  rebellion,  and  when  Louis  passed  away  affairs 
returned  to  the  old  routine,  and  the  labors  of  the  men  who  had 
waged  his  battle  in  the  hope  of  elevating  humanity  disappeared, 
leaving  but  a  doubtful  trace  upon  the  modes  of  thought  of  the 
time. 

The  most  audacious  of  these  champions  was  Marsiglio  of  Padua. 
Interpenetrated  with  the  principles  of  the  imperial  jurisprudence, 
in  which  the  State  was  supreme  and  the  Church  wholly  subordi- 
nated, he  had  seen  in  France  how  the  influence  of  the  Roman  law 
was  emancipating  the  civil  power  from  servitude,  and  perhaps  in 
the  University  of  Paris  had  heard  the  echoes  of  the  theories  of 
Henry  of  Ghent,  the  celebrated  Doctor  Solemnis,  who  had  taught 
the  sovereignty  of  the  people  over  their  princes.  He  framed  a 
conception  of  a  political  organization  which  should  reproduce  that 
of  Pome  under  the  Christian  emperors,  with  a  recognition  of  the 
people  as  the  ultimate  source  of  all  civil  authority.  Aided  by  Jean 
de  Jandun  he  developed  these  ideas  with  great  hardihood  and 
skill  in  his  "Defensor  Pads"  and  in  1326,  when  the  strife  be- 
tween John  and  Louis  was  at  its  hottest,  the  two  authors  left 
Paris  to  lay  the  result  of  their  labors  before  the  emperor.  In  a 
brief  tract,  moreover,  " De  translatione  imperii"  Marsiglio  subse- 

*  See  the  documents  in  the  second  prosecution  of  Louis  by  John,  where  the 
accusations  against  him  constantly  commence  with  his  pertinacious  heresy  in 
maintaining  the  condemned  doctrine  of  the  poverty  of  Christ. — Martene  Thesaur. 
II.  G82  sqq.     Cf.  Guill.  Nangiac.  Contin.  ann.  1328. 


14:0  THE    FRATICELLI. 

quently  sketched  the  manner  in  which  the  Holy  Roman  Empire 
had  arisen,  showing  the  ancient  subjection  of  the  Holy  See  to  the 
imperial  power,  and  the  baselessness  of  the  papal  claims  to  confirm 
the  election  of  the  emperors.  John  XXII.  had  no  hesitation  in 
condemning  the  daring  authors  as  heretics,  and  the  protection 
which  Louis  afforded  them  added  another  count  to  the  indictment 
against  him  for  heresy.  Unable  to  wreak  vengeance  upon  them, 
all  who  could  be  supposed  to  be  their  accomplices  were  sternly 
dealt  with.  A  certain  Francesco  of  Venice,  who  had  been  a  stu- 
dent with  Marsiglio  at  Paris,  was  seized  and  carried  to  Avignon 
on  a  charge  of  having  aided  in  the  preparation  of  the  wicked  book, 
and  of  having  supplied  the  heresiarch  with  money.  Tried  before 
the  Apostolic  Chamber,  he  stoutly  maintained  that  he  was  igno- 
rant of  the  contents  of  the  "Defensor  Pads"  that  he  had  depos- 
ited money  with  Marsiglio,  as  was  customar}r  with  scholars,  and 
that  Marsiglio  had  left  Paris  owing  him  thirteen  sols  parisis.  Jean 
de  Jandun  died  in  1328,  and  Marsiglio  not  later  than  1343,  thus 
mercifully  spared  the  disappointment  of  the  failure  of  their  theo- 
ries. In  so  far  as  purely  intellectual  conceptions  had  weight  in 
the  conflict  they  were  powerful  allies  for  Louis.  In  the  "  Defen- 
sor Pads"  the  power  of  the  keys  is  argued  away  in  the  clearest 
dialectics.  God  alone  has  power  to  judge,  to  absolve,  to  condemn. 
The  pope  is  no  more  than  any  other  priest,  and  a  priestly  sentence 
may  be  the  result  of  hatred,  favor,  or  injustice,  of  no  weight  with 
God.  Excommunication,  to  be  effective,  must  not  proceed  from 
the  judgment  of  a  single  priest,  but  must  be  the  sentence  of  the 
whole  community,  with  full  knowledge  of  all  the  facts.  It  is  no 
wonder  that  when,  in  1376,  a  French  translation  of  the  work  ap- 
peared in  Paris  it  created  a  profound  sensation.  A  prolonged 
inquest  was  held,  lasting  from  September  to  December,  in  which 
all  the  learned  men  in  the  city  were  made  to  swear  before  a  notary 
as  to  their  ignorance  of  the  translator.* 


*  Altmayer,  Les  Precurseurs  de  la  Reforme  aux  Pays-Bas,  Bruxelles,  1886,  I. 
38.  —  Guillel.  Nangiac.  Contin.  arm.  1326. — Fasciculus  Rer.  Expetendarum  et 
Fugiend.  II.  55,  Ed.  1690.—  D'Argentre,  I.  i.  304-11,  397-400.— Baluz,  et  Mansi 
II.  280-1.  —  Martene  Thesaur.  II.  704-16.  —  Preger,  Kirchenpolitische  Kainpf, 
pp.  34,  65. — Defensor.  Pacis  II.  6. 

The  manner  in  which  Fritsche  Closener,  a  contemporary  priest  of  Strassburg, 
speaks  of  the  Defensor  Pacis  shows  what  an  impression  it  made,  and  that  even 


WILLIAM    OF    OCKHAM.  141 

More  vehement  and  more  fluent  as  a  controversialist  was  the 
great  schoolman,  William  of  Ockham.  When  the  final  breach 
came  between  the  papacy  and  the  rigid  Franciscans  he  was  al- 
ready under  inquisitorial  trial  for  his  utterances.  Escaping  from 
Avignon  with  his  general,  Michele,  he  found  refuge,  like  the  rest, 
with  Louis,  whose  cause  he  strengthened  by  skilfully  linking  the 
question  of  Christ's  poverty  with  that  of  German  independence. 
Those  who  refused  to  accept  a  papal  definition  on  a  point  of  faith 
could  only  justify  themselves  by  proving  that  popes  were  fallible 
and  their  power  not  unlimited.  Thus  the  strife  over  the  narrow 
Franciscan  dogmatism  on  poverty  broadened  until  it  embraced 
the  great  questions  which  had  disturbed  the  peace  of  Europe  since 
the  time  of  Hildebrand,  nearly  three  centuries  before.  In  1324 
Ockham  boasted  that  he  had  set  his  face  like  flint  against  the 
errors  of  the  pseudo-pope,  and  that  so  long  as  he  possessed  hand, 
paper,  pens,  and  ink,  no  abuse  or  lies  or  persecution  or  persuasion 
would  induce  him  to  desist  from  attacking  them.  He  kept  his 
promise  literally,  and  for  twenty  years  he  poured  forth  a  series  of 
controversial  works  in  defence  of  the  cause  to  which  he  had  de- 
voted his  life.  Without  embracing  the  radical  doctrines  of  Mar- 
siglio  on  the  popular  foundation  of  political  institutions,  he  practi- 
cally reached  the  same  outcome.  While  admitting  the  primacy  of 
the  pope,  he  argued  that  a  pope  can  fall  into  heresy,  and  so,  in- 
deed, can  a  general  council,  and  even  all  Christendom.  The  influ- 
ence of  the  Holy  Ghost  did  not  deprive  man  of  free-will  and 
prevent  him  from  succumbing  to  error,  no  matter  what  might  be 
his  station.  There  was  nothing  sure  but  Scripture;  the  poorest 
and  meanest  peasant  might  adhere  to  Catholic  truth  revealed  to 
him  by  God,  while  popes  and  councils  erred.  Above  the  pope  is 
the  general  council  representing  the  whole  Church.  A  pope  re- 
fusing to  entertain  an  appeal  to  a  general  council,  declining  to  as- 
semble it,  or  arrogating  its  authority  to  himself  is  a  manifest 
heretic,  whom  it  is  the  duty  of  the  bishops  to  depose,  or,  if  the 
bishops  refuse,  then  that  of  the  emperor,  who  is  supreme  over  the 
earth.     But  it  was  not  only  by  the  enunciation  of  general  princi- 


a  portion  of  the  clergy  was  uot  averse  to  its  conclusions. — Closeners  Chronik 
(Chroniken  der  deutschen  Stadte  VIII.  70.— Cf.  Chron.  des  Jacob  von  Konigs- 
bofen,  lb.  p.  473). 


142  THE    FRATICELLI. 

pies  that  he  carried  on  the  war ;  merciless  were  his  assaults  on  the 
errors  and  inconsistencies  of  John  XXII. ,  who  was  proved  guilty 
of  seventy  specific  heresies.  Thus  to  the  bitter  end  his  dauntless 
spirit  kept  up  the  strife ;  one  by  one  his  colleagues  died  and  sub- 
mitted, and  he  was  left  alone,  but  he  continued  to  shower  ridicule 
on  the  curia  and  its  creatures  in  his  matchless  dialectics.  Even 
the  death  of  Louis  and  the  hopeless  defeat  of  his  cause  did  not  stop 
his  fearless  pen.  Church  historians  claim  that  in  134:9  he  at  last 
made  his  peace  and  was  reconciled,  but  this  is  more  than  doubtful. 
for  Giacomo  della  Marca  classes  him  with  Michele  and  Bonagrazia 
as  the  three  unrepentant  heretics  who  died  under  excommunica- 
tion. It  is  not  easy  to  determine  with  accuracy  what  influence 
was  exercised  by  the  powerful  intellects  which  England.  France, 
and  Italy  thus  contributed  to  the  defence  of  German  independence. 
Possibly  they  may  have  stimulated  Wickliff  to  question  the  founda- 
tion of  papal  power  and  the  supremacy  of  the  Church  over  the 
State,  leading  to  Hussite  insubordination.  Possibly,  too,  they  may 
have  contributed  to  the  movement  which  in  various  development 
emboldened  the  Councils  of  Constance  and  Basle  to  claim  superi- 
ority over  the  Holy  See,  the  Gallican  Church  to  assert  its  liberties, 
and  England  to  frame  the  hostile  legislation  of  the  Statutes  of 
Pro  visors  and  Praemunire.  If  this  be  so,  the  hopeless  entangle- 
ments of  German  politics  caused  them  to  effect  less  in  their  own 
chosen  battle-field  than  in  lands  far  removed  from  the  immediate 
scene  of  conflict.* 

This  rapid  glance  at  the  larger  aspects  of  the  strife  has  been 
necessary  to  enable  us  to  follow  intelligently  the  vicissitudes  of 
the  discussion  over  the  poverty  of  Christ,  which  occupied  in  the 
struggle  a  position  ludicrously  disproportionate  to  its  importance. 
For  some  time  after  the  issue  of  the  bulls  C<r,n  inter  nonn  ullos  and 
Quia  quorumdam  there  was  a  sort  of  armed  neutrality  between 
John  and  the  heads  of  the  Franciscan  Order.  Each  seemed  to  be 
afraid  of  taking  a  step  which  should  precipitate  a  conflict,  doubt- 


*  Martene  Thesaur.  II.  749-52. — Tocco,  L'Eresia  nel  Medio  Evo,  pp.  532-555. 
— Preger,  Der  Kircbenpolitische  Kampf,  pp.  8-9. — Carl  Miiller.  op.  cit.  II.  251- 
2,— Trithem.  Chron.  Hirsaug.  ann.  1323.— Raynald.  ami.  1349,  No.  16-17.— Jac. 
de  Marchia  Dial.  (Bal.  et  Mausi  II.  600). 


IMPENDING    RUPTURE.  143 

less  secretly  felt  by  both  sides  to  be  inevitable.  Still  there  was  a 
little  skirmishing  for  position.  In  1325  Michele  had  summoned 
the  general  chapter  to  assemble  at  Paris,  but  he  feared  that  an  ef- 
fort would  be  made  to  annul  the  declarations  of  Perugia,  and  that 
John  would  exercise  a  pressure  by  means  of  King  Charles  le  Bel, 
whose  influence  was  great  through  the  number  of  benefices  at  his 
disposal.  Suddenly,  therefore,  he  transferred  the  call  to  Lyons, 
where  considerable  trouble  was  experienced  through  the  efforts  of 
Gerard  Odo,  a  creature  of  the  pope,  and  subsequently  the  suc- 
cessor of  Michele,  to  obtain  relaxations  of  the  Pule  as  regarded 
poverty.  Still  the  brethren  stood  firm,  and  these  attempts  were 
defeated,  while  a  constitution  threatening  with  imprisonment  all 
who  should  speak  indiscreetly  and  disrespectfully  of  John  XXII. 
and  his  decretals  indicates  the  passions  which  were  seething  under 
the  surface»  Not  long  after  this  we  hear  of  a  prosecution  suddenly 
commenced  against  our  old  acquaintance  Ubertino  da  Casale,  in 
spite  of  his  Benedictine  habit  and  his  quiet  residence  in  Italy. 
He  seems  to  have  been  suspected  of  having  furnished  the  argu- 
ments on  the  subject  of  the  poverty  of  Christ  in  the  Protest  of 
Sachsenhausen,  and,  September  16, 1325,  an  order  was  sent  for  his 
arrest,  but  he  got  wind  of  it  and  escaped  to  Germany — the  first 
of  the  illustrious  band  of  refugees  who  gathered  around  Louis  of 
Bavaria,  though  he  appears  to  have  made  his  peace  in  1330.  John 
seems  to  have  at  last  grown  restive  at  the  tacit  insubordination  of 
the  Franciscans,  who  did  not  openly  deny  his  definitions  as  to  the 
poverty  of  Christ,  but  whom  he  knew  to  be  secretly  cherishing  in 
their  hearts  the  condemned  doctrine.  In  1326  Michele  issued  de- 
crees subjecting  to  a  strict  censorship  all  writings  by  the  brethren 
and  enforcing  one  of  the  rules  which  prohibited  the  discussion  of 
doubtful  opinions,  thus  muzzling  the  Order  in  the  hope  of  averting 
dissension ;  but  it  was  not  in  John's  nature  to  rest  satisfied  with 
silence  which  covered  opposition,  and  in  August,  1327,  he  advanced 
to  the  attack.  In  the  bull  Quia  nonnunquam,  addressed  to  arch- 
bishops and  inquisitors,  he  declared  that  many  still  believed  in  the 
poverty  of  Christ  in  spite  of  his  having  pronounced  such  belief  a 
heresy,  and  that  those  who  entertained  it  should  be  treated  as 
heretics.  He  therefore  now  orders  the  prelates  and  inquisitors  to 
prosecute  them  vigorously,  and  though  the  Franciscans  are  not 
specially  named,  the  clause  which  deprives  the  accused  of  all  papal 


l±±  THE    FRATICELLI. 

privileges  and  subjects  them  to  the  ordinary  jurisdictions  suffi- 
ciently shows  that  they  were  the  object  of  the  assault.    It  is  quite 
possible  that  this  was  provoked  by  some  movement  among  the  re- 
mains of  the  moderate  Spirituals  of  Italy — men  who  came  to  be 
known  as  Fraticelli — who  had  never  indulged  in  the  dangerous 
enthusiasms  of  the  Olivists,  but  who  were  ready  to  suffer  martyr- 
dom in  defence  of  the  sacred  principles  of  poverty.     Such  men 
could  not  but  have  been  at  once  excited  by  the  papal  denial  of 
Christ's  poverty,  and  encouraged  by  finding  the   Order  at  large 
driven  into  antagonism  with  the  Holy  See.     Sicily  had  long  been 
a  refuge  for  the  more  zealous  when  forced  to  flee  from  Italy.    At 
this  time  we  hear  of  their  crossing  back  to  Calabria,  and  of  John 
writing  to  Xiccolo  da  Reggio,  the  Minister  of  Calabria,  savage  in- 
structions to  destroy  them  utterly.     Lists  are  to  be  made  out  and 
sent  to  him  of  all  who  show  them  favor,  and  King  Robert  is  ap- 
pealed to  for  aid  in  the  good  work.     Robert,  in  spite  of  his  close 
alliance  with  the  pope,  and  the  necessity  of  the  papal  favor  for  his 
ambitious  plans,  was  sincerely  on  the  side  of  the  Franciscans.    He 
seems  never  to  have  forgotten  the  teachings  of  Arnaldo  de  Vila- 
nova,  and  as  his  father,  Charles  the  Lame,  had  interfered  to  protect 
the  Spirituals  of  Provence,  so  now  both  he  and  his  queen  did  what 
they  could  with  the  angry  pope  to  moderate  his  wrath,  and  at  the 
same  time  he  urged  the  Order  to  stand  firm  in  defence  of  the  Rule. 
In  the  protection  which  he  afforded  he  did  not  discriminate  closely 
between  the  organized  resistance  of  the  Order  under  its  general, 
and  the  irregular  mutiny  of  the  Fraticelli.    His  dominions,  as  well 
as  Sicily,  served  as  a  refuge  for  the  latter.     AVith  the  troubles 
provoked  by  John  their  numbers  naturally  grew.    Earnest  spirits, 
dissatisfied  with  Michele's  apparent  acquiescence  in  John's  new 
heresy,  would  naturally  join  them.     They  ranged  themselves  un- 
der Henry  da  Ceva,  who  had  fled  to  Sicily  from  persecution  un- 
der Boniface  Till. ;  they  elected  him  their  general  minister  and 
formed  a  complete  independent  organization,  which,  when  John 
triumphed  over  the  Order,  gathered  in  its  recalcitrant  fragments 
and  constituted  a  sect  whose  strange  persistence  under  the  fiercest 
persecution  we  shall  have  to  follow  for  a  century  and  a  half.* 


*  Wadding,  arm.  1317,  No.  9  ;  arm.  1318,  No.  8  ;  arm.  1323.  No.  16 ;  ann.  1325, 
No.  6;  ann.  1331,  No.  3.— Chron.  Glassbergerann.  1325,1326, 1330.— Raynald.  ann. 


CORONATION    OF    LOUIS.  145 

On  the  persecution  of  these  insubordinate  brethren  Michele  da 
Cesena  could  afford  to  look  with  complacency,  and  he  evidently 
desired  to  regard  the  bull  of  August,  1327,  as  directed  against 
them.  He  maintained  his  attitude  of  submission.  In  June  the 
pope  had  summoned  him  from  Home  to  Avignon,  and  he  had  ex- 
cused himself  on  the  ground  of  sickness.  His  messengers  with  his 
apologies  were  graciously  received,  and  it  was  not  until  December 
2  that  he  presented  himself  before  John.  The  pope  subsequently 
declared  that  he  had  been  summoned  to  answer  for  secretly  en- 
couraging rebels  and  heretics,  and  doubtless  the  object  was  to  be 
assured  of  his  person,  but  he  was  courteously  welcomed,  and  tne 
ostensible  reason  given  for  sending  for  him  was  certain  troubles 
in  the  provinces  of  Assisi  and  Aragon,  in  which  Michele  obediently 
changed  the  ministers.  Until  April,  1328,  he  remained  in  the  papal 
court,  apparently  on  the  best  of  terms  with  John.* 

Meanwhile  the  quarrel  between  the  empire  and  the  papacy  had 
been  developing  apace.  In  the  spring  of  1326  Louis  suddenly  and 
without  due  preparation  undertook  an  expedition  to  Italy,  at  the 
invitation  of  the  Ghibellines,  for  his  imperial  coronation.  When 
he  reached  Milan  in  April  to  receive  the  iron  crown  John  sternly 
forbade  his  further  progress,  and  on  this  being  disregarded,  pro- 
ceeded to  excommunicate  him  afresh.  Thus  commenced  another 
prolonged  series  of  citations  and  sentences  for  heresy,  including 
the  preaching  of  a  crusade  with  Holy  Land  indulgences  against 
the  impenitent  sinner.  Unmoved  by  this,  Louis  slowly  made  his 
way  to  Rome,  which  he  entered  January  7,  1327,  and  where  he 
was  crowned  on  the  17th,  in  contemptuous  defiance  of  papal  pre- 
rogative, by  four  syndics  elected  by  the  people,  after  which,  ac- 
cording to  usage,  he  exchanged  the  title  of  King  of  the  Romans 
for  that  of  Emperor.  As  the  defender  of  the  faith  he  proceeded 
to. try  the  pope  on  the  charge  of  heresy,  based  upon  his  denial  of 
the  poverty  of  Christ.  April  14  he  promulgated  a  law  authorizing 
the  prosecution  and  sentence  in  absentia  of  those  notoriously  de- 
famed for  treason  or  heresy,  thus  imitating  the  papal  injustice  of 

1325,  No.  20,  27.— Franz  Ehrle  (Archiv  fur  L.  u.  »K.  1886,  p.  151).— Martene 
Thesaur.  II.  752-3.— Vitoduran.  Chron.  (Eccard.  Corp.  Hist.  I.  1799).— D' Argen- 
ts, I.  1.  297.— Eymeric.  pp.  291-4. 

*  Martene  Thesaur.  II.  749. — Baluz.  et  Mansi  III.  315-16. — Nicbolaus  Minorita 
(Baluz.et  Mansi  III.  238-40). 
III.— 10 


146  THE    FRATICELLI. 

which  he  himself  complained  bitterly  ;  and,  on  the  17th,  sentence 
of  deposition  was  solemnly  read  to  the  assembled  people  before 
the  basilica  of  St.  Peter.  It  recited  that  it  was  rendered  at  the 
request  of  the  clergy  and  people  of  Rome;  it  recapitulated  the 
crimes  of  the  pope,  whom  it  stigmatized  as  Antichrist ;  it  pro- 
nounced him  a  heretic  on  account  of  his  denying  the  poverty  of 
Christ,  deposed  him  from  the  papacy,  and  threatened  confiscation 
on  all  who  should  render  him  support  and  assistance.* 

As  a  pope  was  necessary  to  the  Church,  and  as  the  college  of 
cardinals  were  under  excommunication  as  fautors  of  heresy,  re- 
course was  had  to  the  primitive  method  of  selection :  some  form 
of  election  by  the  people  and  clergy  of  Rome  was  gone  through 
on  May  12,  and  a  new  Bishop  of  Rome  was  presented  to  the 
Christian  world  in  the  person  of  Pier  di  Corbario,  an  aged  Fran- 
ciscan of  high  repute  for  austerity  and  eloquence.  He  was  Minis- 
ter of  the  province  of  the  Abruzzi  and  papal  penitentiary.  He 
had  been  married,  his  wife  was  still  living,  and  he  was  said  to 
have  entered  the  Order  without  her  consent,  which  rendered  him 
"  irregular "  and  led  to  an  absurd  complication,  for  the  woman, 
who  had  never  before  complained  of  his  leaving  her,  now  came 
forward  and  put  in  her  claims  to  be  bought  off.  He  assumed  the 
name  of  Nicholas  V.,  a  college  of  cardinals  was  readily  created 
for  him,  he  appointed  nuncios  and  legates  and  proceeded  to  de- 
grade the  Guelfic  bishops  and  replace  them  with  Ghibellines.  In 
the  confusion  attendant  upon  these  revolutionary  proceedings  it 
can  be  readily  imagined  that  the  Fraticelli  emerged  from  their 
hiding-places  and  indulged  in  glowing  anticipations  of  the  future 
which  they  fondly  deemed  their  own.f 

Although  the  Franciscan  prefect  of  the  Roman  province  as- 
sembled a  chapter  at  Anagni  which  pronounced  against  Pier  di 
Corbario,  and  ordered  him  to  lay  aside  his  usurped  dignity,  it  was 
impossible  that  the  Order  should  escape  responsibility  for  the  re- 
bellion, nor  is  it  likely  that  Michele  da  Cesena  was  not  privy  to 
the  whole  proceeding.     He  had  remained  quietly  at  Avignon,  and 

*  Chron.  Sanens.  (Muratori  S.  R.  I.  XV.  77.  79).— Martene  Thesaur.  II.  684- 
723.— Nicholaus  Minorita  (Bal.  et  Mansi  III.  240-3). 

t  Nicholaus  Minorita  (Bal.  et  Mansi  III.  243). — Ptolotnaei  Lucensis  Hist. 
Eccles.  cap.  41  (Muratori  S.  R.  I.  XL  1210).— Chron.  Sanens.  (Muratori  XV.  80). 
—Wadding,  ann.  1328,  No.  2-4,  8  -11. 


MICHELE    IN    OPPOSITION.  147 

John  had  manifested  no  abatement  of  cordiality  until  April  9, 
when,  on  being  summoned  to  an  audience,  the  pope  attacked  him 
on  the  subject  of  the  Chapter  of  Perugia,  which  six  years  before  had 
asserted  the  poverty  of  Christ  and  the  apostles.  Michele  stoutly 
defended  the  utterances  of  the  chapter,  saying  that  if  they  were 
heretical  then  Nicholas  IV.  and  the  other  popes  who  had  affirmed 
the  doctrine  were  heretics.  Then  the  papal  wrath  exploded. 
Michele  was  a  headstrong  fool,  a  fautor  of  heretics,  a  serpent  nour- 
ished in  the  bosom  of  the  Church ;  and  when  the  stream  of  invective 
had  exhausted  itself  he  was  placed  under  constructive  arrest,  and 
ordered  not  to  leave  Avignon  without  permission,  under  pain  of 
excommunication,  of  forfeiture  of  office,  and  of  future  disability. 
A  few  days  later,  on  April  14,  in  the  secrecy  of  the  Franciscan  con- 
vent, he  relieved  his  feelings  by  executing  a  solemn  notarial  pro- 
test, in  the  presence  of  William  of  Ockham,  Bonagrazia,  and  other 
trusty  adherents,  in  which  he  recited  the  circumstances,  argued  that 
the  pope  either  was  a  heretic  or  no  pope,  for  either  his  present 
utterances  were  erroneous  or  else  Nicholas  IV.  had  been  a  heretic ; 
in  the  latter  case  Boniface  VIII.  and  Clement  V.,  who  had  approved 
the  Bull  Exiit  qui  seminat,  were  likewise  heretics,  their  nominations 
of  cardinals  were  void,  and  the  conclave  which  elected  John  was 
illegal.  He  protested  against  whatever  might  be  done  m  deroga- 
tion of  the  rights  of  the  Order,  that  he  was  in  durance  and  in  just 
fear,  and  that  what  he  might  be  forced  to  do  would  be  null  and 
void.  The  whole  document  is  a  melancholy  illustration  of  the 
subterfuges  rendered  necessary  by  an  age  of  violence.* 

Michele  was  detained  in  Avignon  while  the  general  chapter 
of  the  Order  was  held  at  Bologna,  to  which  John  sent  Bertrand, 
Bishop  of  Ostia,  with  instructions  to  have  another  general  chosen. 
The  Order,  however,  was  stubborn.  It  sent  a  somewhat  defiant 
message  to  the  pope  and  re-elected  Michele,  requesting  him  more- 
over to  indicate  Paris  as  the  next  place  of  assemblage,  to  be  held, 
according  to  rule,  in  three  years,  to  which  he  assented.  In  view 
of  the  drama  which  was  developing  in  Rome  he  might  reasonably 
fear  for  liberty  or  life.  Preparations  were  made  for  his  escape. 
A  galley,  furnished,  according  to  John,  by  the  Emperor  Louis,  but 
according  to  other  and  more  trustworthy  accounts,  by  Genoese 


Nicholaus  Minorita  (Bal.  et  Mansi  III.  238-40). 


148  THE    FRATICELLI. 

refugees,  was  sent  to  Aigues-mortes.  Thither  he  fled,  May  26,  ac- 
companied by  Ockhani  and  Bonagrazia.  The  Bishop  of  Porto, 
sent  by  John  in  hot  haste  after  him,  had  an  interview  with  him 
on  the  deck  of  his  galley,  but  failed  to  induce  him  to  return.  He 
reached  Pisa  on  June  9,  and  there  ensued  a  war  of  manifestoes  of 
unconscionable  length,  in  which  Michele  was  pronounced  excom- 
municate and  deposed,  and  John  was  proved  to  be  a  heretic  who 
had  rightfully  forfeited  the  papacy.  Michele  could  only  carry  on 
a  worclv  conflict,  while  John  could  act.  Bertrand  de  la  Tour, 
Cardinal  of  San  Yitale,  was  appointed  Vicar-general  of  the  Order, 
another  general  chapter  was  ordered  to  assemble  in  Paris,  June, 
1329,  and  preparations  were  made  for  it  by  removing  all  pro- 
vincials favorable  to  Michele.  and  appointing  in  their  places  men 
who  could  be  relied  on.  Out  of  thirty-four  who  had  met  in 
Bologna  only  fourteen  were  seen  in  Paris ;  Michele  was  deposed 
and  Gerard  Odo  was  elected  in  his  place ;  but  even  under  this 
pressure  no  declaration  condemning  the  poverty  of  Christ  could 
be  obtained  from  the  chapter.  The  mass  of  the  Order,  reduced 
to  silence,  remained  faithful  to  the  principles  represented  by  its 
deposed  general,  until  forced  to  acquiescence  by  the  arbitrary 
measures  so  freely  employed  by  the  pope  and  the  examples  made 
of  those  who  dared  to  express  opposition.  Still  John  Avas  not  dis- 
posed to  relax  the  Franciscan  discipline,  and  when,  in  1332,  Gerard 
Odo,  in  the  hope  of  gaining  a  cardinal's  hat,  persuaded  fourteen 
provincial  ministers  to  join  him  in  submitting  a  gloss  which  would 
have  virtually  annulled  the  obligation  of  poverty,  his  only  reward 
was  the  ridicule  of  the  pope  and  sacred  college.* 


*  Xicholaus  Minonta  (Baluz.  et  Mansi  III.  243-349).— Jac.  de  Marchia  Dial. 
(Ibid.  II.  598).— Chron.  Sanens.  (Muratori  S.  R.  I.  XV.  81).— Vitodurani  Chron. 
(Eccard.  Corp.  Hist.  I.  1799-1800).— Marteue  Tbesaur.  II.  757-60.— Alvar.  Pelag. 
De  Planctu  Eccles.  Lib.  n.  art.  67. 

The  career  of  Cardinal  Bertrand  de  la  Tour  illustrates  the  pliability  of  con- 
science requisite  to  those  who  served  John  XXII.  He  was  a  Franciscan  of  high 
standing.  As  Provincial  of  Aquitaine  he  had  persecuted  the  Spirituals. 
Elevated  to  the  cardinalate,  when  John  called  for  opinions  on  the  question  of 
the  poverty  of  Christ  he  had  argued  in  the  affirmative.  In  conjunction  with 
Vitale  du  Four,  Cardinal  of  Albano,  lie  had  secretly  drawn  up  the  declaration  of 
the  Chapter  of  Perugia  which  so  angered  the  pope,  but  when  the  latter  made  up 
his  mind  that  Christ  had  owned  property,  the  cardinal  promptly  changed  his 


THE    INQUISITION    AT    TODI.  149 

The  settlement  of  the  question  depended  much  more  upon 
political  than  upon  religious  considerations.  Louis  had  abandoned 
Rome  and  established  himself  in  Pisa  with  his  pope,  his  cardinals, 
and  his  Franciscans,  but  the  Italians  were  becoming  tired  of  their 
kaiser.  It  mattered  little  that  in  January,  1329,  he  indulged  in 
the  childish  triumph  of  solemnly  burning  John  XXII.  in  effigy ; 
he  was  obliged  soon  after  to  leave  the  city,  and  towards  the  end 
of  the  year  he  returned  to  Germany,  carrying  with  him  the  men 
who  were  to  defend  his  cause  with  all  the  learning  of  the  schools, 
and  abandoning  to  their  fate  those  of  his  partisans  who  were 
unable  to  follow  him.*  The  proceedings  which  ensued  at  Todi 
will  serve  to  show  how  promptly  the  Inquisition  tracked  his  re- 
treating footsteps,  and  how  useful  it  was  as  a  political  agency  in 
reducing  rebellious  communities  to  submission. 

The  Todini  were  Ghibelline.     In  1327,  when  John  XXII.  had 
ordered  Francisco  Damiani,  Inquisitor  of  Spoleto,  to  proceed  vigor- 
ously against  Mucio  Canistrario  of  Todi  as  a  rebel  against  the 
Church,  and  Mucio  had  accordingly  been  imprisoned,  the  people 
had  risen  in  insurrection  and  liberated  the  captive,  while   the 
inquisitor  had  been  forced  to  fly  for  his  life.     In  August,  1328,  they 
had  welcomed  Louis  as  emperor  and  Pier  di  Corbario  as  pope,  and 
had  ordered  their  notaries  to  use  the  regnal  years  of  the  latter  in 
their  instruments ;   they  had,  moreover,  attacked  and   taken  the 
Guelf  city  of  Orvieto  and,  like  all   the  cities  which  adhered  to 
Louis,  they  had  expelled  the  Dominicans.     In  August,  1329,  aban- 
doned by  Louis,  proceedings  were  commenced  against  them  by  the 
Franciscan,  Fra  Bartolino   da   Perugia,  the   inquisitor,  who   an- 
nounced his  intention  of  making  a  thorough  inquest  of  the  whole 
district  of  Assisi  against  all  Patarins  and  heretics,  against  those 
who  assert  things  not  to  be  sins  which  the  Church  teaches  to  be 
sins,  or  are  minor   sins  which   the  Church   holds  to  be  greater, 
against  those  who  understand  the  Scriptures  in  a  sense  different 
from  what   the  Holy   Spirit   demands,  against   those   who   talk 
against  the  state  and  observance  of  the  Roman  Church  and  its 


convictions,  and  was  now  engaged  in  persecuting  those  who  adhered  to  the 
belief  which  lie  had  prescribed  for  them. — Tocco,  Un  Codice  della  Marciana,  pp. 
40,43,45. 

*  Chron.  Cornel.  Zantfliet  (Martene  Ainpl.  Coll.  V.  187).— Villani,  Lib.  x.  c. 
126,  144. 


150  THE    FRATICELLL 

teachings,  and  against  those  who  have  detracted  from  the  dignity 
and  person  of  the  pope  and  his  constitutions.  Under  this  search- 
ing examinations  were  made  as  to  the  acts  of  the  citizens  during 
the  visit  of  Louis,  any  sign  of  respect  paid  to  him  being  regarded 
as  a  crime,  and  two  sets  of  prosecutions  were  commenced — one 
against  the  Ghibellines  of  the  city  and  the  other  against  the 
"  rebellious  "  Franciscans.  These  latter  were  summoned  to  reply 
to  five  articles — 1,  If  they  believed  in,  favored,  or  adhered  to  the 
Bavarian  and  the  intrusive  antipope;  2,  If  they  had  marched 
with  a  cross  to  meet  these  heretics  on  their  entrance  into  Todi ; 
3,  If  they  had  obeyed  or  done  reverence  to  the  Bavarian  as  em- 
peror or  to  P.  di  Corbario  as  pope;  4,  If  they  had  taught  or 
preached  that  the  constitutions  of  John  were  heretical  or  himself 
a  heretic ;  5,  If,  after  Michele  da  Cesena  was  condemned  and  de- 
posed for  heresy,  they  had  adhered  to  him  and  his  errors.  These 
interrogations  show  how  conveniently  the  religious  and  political 
questions  were  mingled  together,  and  how  thorough  was  the 
investigation  rendered  possible  by  the  machinery  of  the  Inquisi- 
tion. The  proceedings  dragged  on,  and,  July  1,  1330,  John  con- 
demned the  whole  community  as  heretics  and  fautors  of  heresy. 
July  7  he  sent  this  sentence  to  the  legate,  Cardinal  Orsini,  with 
instructions  to  cite  the  citizens  peremptorily  and  to  try  them, 
according  to  the  inquisitorial  formula,  "  summarie  et  de  piano  et 
s-hie  strepitu  et  jigura"  Under  this  the  Todini  finally  made  sub- 
mission, the  cardinal  sent  Fra  Bartolino  and  his  colleague  thither, 
and  the  city  was  reconciled,  subject  to  the  papal  approval.  They 
had  been  obliged  to  make  a  gift  of  ten  thousand  florins  to  Louis,  and 
now  a  fine  of  equal  amount  was  levied  upon  them,  besides  one  hun- 
dred lire  imposed  on  each  of  one  hundred  and  thirty-four  citizens. 
Apparently  the  terms  exacted  were  not  satisfactory  to  John,  for  a 
papal  brief  of  July  20, 1331,  declared  the  submission  of  the  citizens 
deceitful,  and  ordered  the  interdict  renewed.  The  last  document 
which  we  have  in  the  case  is  one  of  June  1, 1332,  in  which  the  legate 
sends  to  the  Bishop  of  Todi  a  list  of  one  hundred  and  ninety-seven 
persons,  including  Franciscans,  parish  priests,  heads  of  religious 
houses,  nobles,  and  citizens,  who  are  ordered  to  appear  before  him 
at  Orvieto  on  June  15,  to  stand  trial  on  the  inquisitions  which 
have  been  found  against  them.  That  the  proceedings  were  pushed 
to  the  bitter  end  there  can  be  no  doubt,  for  when  in  this  year  the 


FATE    OF    PIER    DI    CORBARIO.  151 

General  Gerard  Odo  proposed  to  revoke  the  commission  of  Fra 
Bartolino,  John  intervened  and  extended  it  for  the  purpose  of 
enabling  him  to  continue  the  prosecutions  to  a  definite  sentence. 
This  is  doubtless  a  fair  specimen  of  the  minute  persecution  Avhich 
was  going  on  wherever  the  Ghibellines  were  not  strong  enough  to 
defend  themselves  by  force  of  arms.* 

As  for  the  unhappy  antipope,  his  fate  was  even  more  deplora- 
ble.    Confided  at  Pisa  bv  Louis  to  the  care  of  Count  Fazio  da 

%j 

Doneratico,  the  leading  noble  of  the  city,  he  was  concealed  for 
a  while  in  a  castle  in  Maremma.  June  18,  1329,  the  Pisans  rose 
and  drove  out  the  imperialist  garrison,  and  in  the  following  Janu- 
ary they  were  reconciled  to  the  Church.  A  part  of  the  bargain 
was  the  surrender  of  Pier  di  Corbario,  to  whom  John  promised  to 
show  himself  a  kind  father  and  benevolent  friend,  besides  enrich- 
ing Fazio  for  the  betrayal  of  his  trust.  After  making  public  ab- 
juration of  his  heresies  in  Pisa,  Pier  was  sent,  guarded  by  two  state 
galleys,  to  Nice,  where  he  was  delivered  to  the  papal  agents.  In 
every  town  on  the  road  to  Avignon  he  was  required  publicly  to 
repeat  his  abjuration  and  humiliation.  August  25,  1330,  with  a 
halter  around  his  neck,  he  was  brought  before  the  pope  in  public 
consistory.  Exhausted  and  broken  with  shame  and  suffering,  he 
flung  himself  at  his  rival's  feet  and  begged  for  mercy,  abjuring  and 
anathematizing  his  heresies,  and  especially  that  of  the  poverty  of 
Christ.  Then,  in  a  private  consistory,  he  was  made  again  to  con- 
fess a  long  catalogue  of  crimes,  and  to  accept  such  penance  as 
might  be  awarded  him.  No  humiliation  was  spared  him,  and 
nothing  was  omitted  to  make  his  abject  recantation  complete. 
Having  thus  rendered  him  an  object  of  contempt  and  deprived 
him  of  all  further  power  of  harm,  John  mercifully  spared  him 
bodily  torment.  He  was  confined  in  an  apartment  in  the  papal 
palace,  fed  from  the  papal  table,  and  allowed  the  use  of  books,  but 
no  one  was  admitted  to  see  him  without  a  special  papal  order. 
His  wretched  life  soon  came  to  an  end,  and  when  he  died,  in  1333, 
he  was  buried  in  the  Franciscan  habit.  Considering  the  ferocity 
of  the  age,  his  treatment  is  one  of  the  least  discreditable  acts  in 
the  career  of  John  XXII.    It  was  hardly  to  be  expected,  after  the 

*  Franz  Ehrle  (Archiv  fur  L.  u  K.  1885,  pp.  159-64;  1886,  pp.  653-69).— 
Archivio  Storico  Italiano,  1  Ott.  1865,  pp.  10-21.— Ripoll  II.  180.— Wadding, 
ann.  1326,  No.  9;  1327,  No.  3-4;  1331,  No.  4;  1332,  No.  5. 


152  THE   FRATICELLL 

savage  vindictiveness  of  the  Ernulphine  curse  which  he  had  pub- 
lished, April  20,  1329,  on  his  already  fallen  rival — ;;  May  he  in 
this  life  feel  the  wrath  of  Peter  and  Paul,  whose  church  he  has 
sought  to  confound!  May  his  dwelling-place  be  deserted,  and 
may  there  be  none  to  live  under  his  roof!  May  his  children  be 
orphans,  and  his  wife  a  widow !  May  they  be  driven  forth  from 
their  hearth-stones  to  beggary  !  May  the  usurer  devour  their  sub- 
stance, and  strangers  seize  the  work  of  their  hands  !  May  the 
whole  earth  fight  against  him,  mav  the  elements  be  his  enemies, 
may  the  merits  of  all  the  saints  at  rest  confound  him  and  wreak 
vengeance  on  him  through  life !"  * 

During  the  progress  of  this  contest  public  opinion  was  by  no 
means  unanimous  in  favor  of  John,  and  the  Inquisition  was  an  ef- 
ficient instrumentality  in  repressing  all  expression  of  adverse  sen- 
timents. In  1328,  at  Carcassonne,  a  certain  Germain  Frevier  was 
tried  before  it  for  blaspheming  against  John,  and  stigmatizing  his 
election  as  simoniacal  because  he  had  promised  never  to  set  foot 
in  stirrup  till  he  should  set  out  for  Rome.  Germain,  moreover, 
had  declared  that  the  Franciscan  pope  was  the  true  pope,  and  that 
if  he  had  money  he  would  go  there  and  join  him  and  the  Bavarian. 
Germain  was  not  disposed  to  martyrdom ;  at  first  he  denied,  then, 
after  being  left  to  his  reflections  in  prison  for  five  months,  he 
pleaded  that  he  had  been  drunk  and  knew  not  what  he  was  say- 
ing; a  further  delay  showed  him  that  he  was  helpless,  he  con- 
fessed his  offences  and  begged  for  mercy.f 

Another  case,  in  1329,  shows  us  what  were  the  secret  feelings 
of  a  large  portion  of  the  Franciscan  Order,  and  the  means  required 
to  keep  it  in  subordination.  Before  the  Inquisition  of  Carcas- 
sonne, Frere  Barthelemi  Bruguiere  confessed  that  in  saying  mass 
and  coming  to  the  prayer  for  the  pope  he  had  hesitated  which  of 
the  two  popes  to  pray  for,  and  had  finally  desired  his  prayer  to 
be  for  whichever  was  rightfully  the  head  of  the  Church.  Many 
of  his  brethren,  he  said,  were  in  the  habit  of  wishing  that  God 
would  give  John  XXII.  so  much  to  do  that  he  would  forget  the 


*  Villani,  Lib.  x.  c.  131, 142.  160  — Guill.  Nangiac.  Contin.  ann.  1330.— Wad- 
ding, aim.  1330,  No.  9.— Martene  Thesaur.  II.  736-70  ;  806-15.— Chron.  Cornel. 
Zantfliet  ann.  1330  (Martene  Ampl.  Coll.  V.  194-8). 

t  Archives  de  l'lnq.  de  Carcassonne  (Doat.  XXVII.  7  sqq.). 


DISSENSIONS    WITHIN    THE    ORDER.  153 

Franciscans,  for  it  seemed  to  them  that  his  whole  business  was  to 
afflict  them.  It  was  generally  believed  among  them  that  their  gen- 
eral, Michele,  had  been  unjustly  deposed  and  excommunicated.  In 
a  large  assembly  of  friars  he  had  said, "  I  wish  that  antipope  was 
a  Dominican,  or  of  some  other  Order,"  when  another  rejoined, "  I 
rejoice  still  more  that  the  antipope  is  of  our  Order,  for  if  he  was 
of  another  we  should  have  no  friend,  and  now  at  least  we  have  the 
Italian,"  whereat  all  present  applauded.  For  a  while  Frore  Bar- 
thelemi  held  out,  but  imprisonment  with  threats  of  chains  and 
fasting  broke  down  his  resolution,  and  he  threw  himself  upon  the 
mercy  of  the  inquisitor,  Henri  de  Chamay.  That  mercy  consisted 
in  a  sentence  of  harsh  prison  for  life,  with  chains  on  hands  and 
feet  and  bread  and  water  for  food.  Possibly  the  Dominican  in- 
quisitor may  have  felt  pleasure  in  exhibiting  a  Franciscan  pris- 
oner, for  he  allowed  Barthelemi  to  retain  his  habit ;  and  it  shows 
the  minute  care  of  John's  vindictiveness  that  a  year  later  he  wrote 
expressly  to  Henri  de  Chamay  reciting  that,  as  the  delinquent  had 
been  expelled  from  the  Order,  the  habit  must  be  stripped  from 
him  and  be  delivered  to  the  Franciscan  authorities.* 

In  Germany  the  Franciscans  for  the  most  part  remained  faith- 
ful to  Michele  and  Louis,  and  were  of  the  utmost  assistance  to  the 
latter  in  the  struggle.  The  test  was  the  observance  of  the  inter- 
dict which  for  so  many  years  suspended  divine  service  throughout 
the  empire,  and  was  a  sore  trial  to  the  faithful.  To  a  great  ex- 
tent this  was  disregarded  by  the  Franciscans.  It  was  to  little 
purpose  that,  in  January,  1331,  John  issued  a  special  bull  directed 
against  them,  deprived  of  all  privileges  and  immunities  those  who 
recognized  Louis  as  emperor  and  celebrated  services  in  interdicted 
places,  and  ordered  all  prelates  and  inquisitors  to  prosecute  them. 
On  the  other  hand,  Louis  was  not  behindhand  in  enforcing  obedi- 
ence by  persecution  wherever  he  had  the  power.  An  imperial 
brief  of  June,  1330,  addressed  to  the  magistrates  of  Aix,  directs 
them  to  assist  and  protect  those  teachers  of  the  truth,  the  Fran- 
ciscans Siegelbert  of  Landsberg  and  John  of  Eoyda,  and  to  im- 
prison all  their  brethren  whom  they  may  designate  as  rebels  to 
the  empire  and  to  the  Order  until  the  general,  Michele,  shall  de- 
cide what  is  to  be  done  with  them.    This  shows  that  even  in  Ger- 


*  Doat,  XXVII.  202-3,  229 ;  XXXV.  87. 


154  THE   FRATICELLI. 

many  the  Order  was  not  unanimous,  but  doubtless  the  honest 
Franciscan,  John  of  Winterthur,  reflects  the  feelings  of  the  great 
body  when  he  says  that  the  reader  will  be  struck  with  horror  and 
stupor  on  learning  the  deeds  with  which  the  pope  convulsed  the 
Church.  Inflamed  by  some  madness,  he  sought  to  argue  against 
the  poverty  of  Christ,  and  when  the  Franciscans  resisted  him  he 
persecuted  them  without  measure.  The  Dominicans  encouraged 
him,  and  he  largely  rewarded  them.  The  traditional  enmity  be- 
tween the  Orders  found  ample  gratification.  The  Dominicans,  to 
excite  contempt  for  the  Franciscans,  exhibited  paintings  of  Christ 
with  a  purse,  putting  in  his  hand  to  take  out  mone}r ;  nay,  to  the 
horror  of  the  faithful,  on  the  walls  of  their  monasteries,  in  the 
most  frequented  places,  they  pictured  Christ  hanging  on  the  cross 
with  one  hand  nailed  fast,  and  with  the  other  putting  money  in  a 
pouch  suspended  from  his  girdle.  Yet  rancor  and  religious  zeal 
did  not  wholly  extinguish  patriotism  among  the  Dominicans ;  they 
were,  moreover,  aggrieved  by  the  sentence  of  heresy  passed  upon 
Master  Eckart,  which  may  perhaps  explain  the  fact  that  Tauler 
supported  Louis,  as  also  did  Margaret  Ebner,  one  of  the  Friends 
of  God,  and  the  most  eminent  Dominican  sister  of  the  day.  It  is 
true  that  many  Dominican  convents  were  closed  for  years,  and 
their  inmates  scattered  and  exiled  for  persistently  refusing  to  cele- 
brate, but  others  complied  unwillingly  with  the  papal  mandates. 
At  Landshut  they  had  ceased  public  service,  but  when  the  em- 
peror came  there  they  secretly  arranged  with  the  Duke  of  Teck 
to  assail  their  house  with  torches  and  threaten  to  burn  it  down,  so 
that  they  might  have  the  excuse  of  constraint  for  resuming  public 
worship,  and  the  comedy  was  successfully  carried  out.  In  fact, 
the  General  Chapter  of  1328  complained  that  in  Germany  the 
brethren  in  many  places  were  notably  negligent  in  publishing  the 
papal  bulls  about  Louis.* 

All  this,  however,  was  but  an  episode  in  the  political  struggle, 
which  was  to  be  decided  by  the  rivalries  between  the  houses  of 
"Wittelsbach,  Hapsburg,  and  Luxemburg,  and  the  intrigues  of 
France.      Louis  gradually   succeeded  in  arousing  and   centring 

*  Martene  Thesaur.  II.  826-8.— Carl  Muller,  op.  cit.  I.  239.— Vitodurani  Chron. 
(Eccard.  Corp.  Hist.  I.  1798,  1800,  1844-5,  1871).— Andreas  Ratisponens.  Chron. 
ann.  1336  (Ibid.  I.  2103-4).— Preger,  Der  Rirchenpolitische  Kampf,  pp.  42-5.— 
Denifle,  Archiv  fur  Litt.-  u.  Kircbengescbichte,  1886.  p.  624. 


THE    EMPIRE    AND    THE    PAPACY.  155 

upon  himself  the  national  spirit,  aided  therein  by  the  arrogant  dis- 
dain with  which  John  XXII.  and  his  successors  received  his  re- 
peated offers  of  qualified  submission.  When,  in  1330,  Louis  had 
temporarily  secured  the  support  of  John  of  Luxemburg,  King  of 
Bohemia,  and  the  Duke  of  Austria,  and  they  offered  themselves 
as  sureties  that  he  would  fulfil  what  might  be  required  of  him, 
provided  the  independence  of  the  empire  was  recognized,  John  re- 
torted that  Louis  was  a  heretic  and  thus  incapacitated ;  he  was 
a  thief  and  a  robber,  a  wicked  man  who  consorted  with  Michele, 
Ockham,  Bonagrazia,  and  Marsiglio ;  not  only  had  he  no  title  to 
the  empire,  but  the  state  of  Christendom  would  be  inconceivably 
deplorable  if  he  were  recognized.  After  the  death  of  John  in  De- 
cember, 1334,  another  attempt  was  made,  but  it  suited  the  policy 
of  France  and  of  Bohemia  to  prolong  the  strife,  and  Benedict  XII. 
was  as  firm  as  his  predecessor.  Louis  was  at  all  times  ready  to 
sacrifice  his  Franciscan  allies,  but  the  papacy  demanded  the  right 
practically  to  dictate  who  should  be  emperor,  and  by  a  skilful  use 
of  appeals  to  the  national  pride  Louis  gradually  won  the  support 
of  an  increasing  number  of  states  and  cities.  In  1338  the  con- 
vention of  Rhense  and  the  Reichstag  of  Frankfort  formally  pro- 
claimed as  a  part  of  the  law  of  the  empire  that  the  choice  of  the 
electors  was  final,  and  that  the  papacy  had  no  confirmatory  power. 
The  interdict  was  ordered  not  to  be  observed,  and  in  all  the  states 
adhering  to  Louis  ecclesiastics  were  given  the  option  of  resuming 
public  worship  within  eight  days  or  of  undergoing  a  ten  years' 
exile.  It  was  some  relief  to  them  in  this  dilemma  that  the  Bo- 
man  curia  sold  absolutions  in  such  cases  for  a  florin.* 

In  the  strife  between  Louis  and  the  papacy  the  little  colony  of 
Franciscan  refugees  at  Munich  was  of  the  utmost  service  to  the 
imperial  cause,  but  their  time  was  drawing  to  an  end.  Michele 
da  Cesena  died  November  29,  1342,  his  latest  work  being  a  long 
manifesto  proving  that  John  had  died  an  unrepentant  heretic,  and 
that  his  successors  in  defending  his  errors  were  likewise  heretics ; 
if  but  one  man  in  Christendom  holds  the  true  faith,  that  man  in 


*  Martene  Thesaur.  II.  800-6.  — Raynald.  ann.  1336,  No.  31-5.  — Vitoduran 
Chron.  (Eccard.  Corp.  Hist.  I.  1842-5,  1910).  —  Preger,  Der  Kirchenpolitische 
Kampf,  p.  33.— Hartzheim  IV.  323-32.— H.  Mutii  Germ.  Chron.  ann.  1338  (Pis- 
torii  Germ.  Scriptt.  II.  878-81). 


156  THE    FRATICELLI. 

himself  is  the  Church.  The  dithyrambic  palinode  which  passes 
as  his  death-bed  recantation  is  clearly  a  forgery,  and  there  can  be 
no  doubt  that  Michele  persisted  to  the  end.  When  dying  he 
handed  the  seal  of  the  Order  over  to  William  of  Ockham,  who 
used  it  as  Vicar-general ;  he  had  already,  in  April,  1342,  appointed 
two  citizens  of  Munich.  John  Schito  and  Grimold  Treslo,  as  syn- 
dics and  procurators  of  the  Order,  the  latter  of  whom  subsequent- 
ly assumed  the  generalate.  Bonagrazia  died  in  June,  1347,  de- 
claring with  the  last  breath  of  his  indomitable  soul  that  the  cause 
of  Louis  was  righteous.  The  date  of  William  of  Ockham's  death 
is  uncertain,  but  it  occurred  between  1347  and  1350.  - 

Thus  dropped  off,  one  by  one,  the  men  who  had  so  gallantly 
defended  the  doctrine  of  the  poverty  of  Christ.  As  regards  the 
political  conceptions  which  were  the  special  province  of  Marsiglio 
and  Ockham.  their  work  was  done,  and  they  could  exercise  no 
further  influence  over  the  uncontrollable  march  of  events.  With 
the  death  of  Benedict  XII.,  in  1342,  Louis  made  renewed  efforts 
for  pacification,  but  John  of  Bohemia  was  intriguing  to  secure  the 
succession  for  his  house,  and  they  were  fruitless,  except  to  strength- 
en Louis  by  demonstrating  the  impossibility  of  securing  terms 
tolerable  to  the  empire.  Still  the  intrigue  went  on.  and  in  July, 
1346,  the  three  ecclesiastical  electors,  Mainz,  Treves,  and  Cologne, 
with  Kodolph  of  Saxony,  and  John  of  Bohemia,  assembled  at 
Rhense  under  the  impulsion  of  Clement  VI.  and  elected  the  son 
of  John,  Charles  Margrave  of  Moravia,  as  a  rival  king  of  the 
Bomans.  The  movement,  however,  had  no  basis  of  popular  sup- 
port, and  when  Louis  hastened  to  the  Bhinelands  all  the  cities  and 
nearly  all  the  princes  and  nobles  adhered  to  him.  Had  the  election 
been  postponed  for  a  few  weeks  it  would  never  have  taken  place, 
for  the  next  month  occurred  the  battle  of  Crecy,  where  the  gallant 
knight,  John  of  Bohemia,  died  a  chivalrous  death,  Charles,  the 
newly-elected  king,  saved  his  life  by  flight,  and  French  influence 
was  temporarily  eclipsed.  Thus  unauspiciously  commenced,  the 
reign  of  Charles  IY.  had  little  promise  of  duration,  when,  in  Octo- 


*  Vitoduran  Chron.  (Eccard.  1. 1844). — Sachsische  Weltchronik.  dritte  bairisch 
Fortsetzung  No.  9  (Pertz  II.  346).— Baluz.  et  Mansi  III.  349-55.— Muratori  S.  R. 
I.  III.  ii.  513-27.— Jac.  de  Marchia  Dial.  (Bal.  et  Mansi  II.  600).— Preger,  op.  cit 
pp.  35-6.— Carl  Miiller,  op.  cit.  I.  370-2.— Chron.  Glassberger  ann.  1342,  1347. 


SPIRIT    OF    THE    EMPIRE.  157 

ber,  1347,  Louis,  while  indulging  in  his  favorite  pastime  of  hunting, 
was  struck  with  apoplexy  and  fell  dead  from  his  horse.  The  hand 
of  God  might  well  be  traced  in  the  removal  of  all  the  enemies  of 
the  Holy  See,  and  Charles  had  no  further  organized  opposition  to 
dread.* 

Desirous  of  obtaining  the  fullest  advantage  from  this  unlooked- 
for  good-fortune,  Clement  YI.  commissioned  the  Archbishop  of 
Prague  and  the  Bishop  of  Bamberg  to  reconcile  all  communities  and 
individuals  who  had  incurred  excommunication  by  supporting  the 
Bavarian,  with  a  formula  of  absolution  by  which  they  were  obliged 
to  swear  that  they  held.it  heresy  for  an  emperor  to  depose  a  pope, 
and  that  they  would  never  obey  an  emperor  until  he  had  been  ap- 
proved by  the  pope.  This  excited  intense  disgust,  and  in  many 
places  it  could  not  be  enforced.  The  teachings  of  Marsiglio  and 
Ockham  had  at  least  borne  fruit  in  so  far  that  the  papal  preten- 
sions to  virtually  controlling  the  empire  were  disdainfully  rejected. 
The  German  spirit  thus  aroused  is  well  exemplified  by  what  oc- 
curred at  Basle,  a  city  which  had  observed  the  interdict  and  was 
eager  for  its  removal.  When  Charles  and  the  Bishop  of  Bamberg 
appeared  before  the  gates  they  were  received  by  the  magistrates 
and  a  great  crowd  of  citizens.  Conrad  of  Barenfels,  the  burgo- 
master, addressed  the  bishop :  "  My  Lord  of  Bamberg,  you  must 
know  that  we  do  not  believe,  nor  will  we  confess,  that  our  late 
lord,  the  Emperor  Louis,  ever  was  a  heretic.  Whomsoever  the 
electors  or  a  majority  of  them  shall  choose  as  King  of  the  Romans 
we  will  hold  as  such,  whether  he  applies  to  the  pope  or  not,  nor 
will  we  do  anything  else  that  is  contrary  to  the  rights  of  the  em- 
pire. But  if  you  have  power  from  the  pope  and  are  willing  to  re- 
mit all  our  sins,  so  be  it."  Then,  turning  to  the  people,  he  called 
out,  "  Do  you  give  to  me  and  to  Conrad  Miinch  power  to  ask  for 
the  absolution  of  your  sins  ?"  The  crowd  shouted  assent ;  the 
two  Conrads  took  an  oath  in  accordance  with  this  ;  divine  services 
were  resumed,  and  the  king  and  bishop  entered  the  town.f 


*  Schmidt,  Pabstliche  Urkunden  und  Regesten,  p.  362.  —  Henr.  Rebdorff. 
Annal.  ann.  1346-7  (Freher  et  Stniv.  I.  626-8). 

f  Henr.  Rebdorff.  Annal.  ann.  1347  (Freher  et  Struv.  I.  628).— Matthias  Neu- 
burg.  (Albert.  Argentinens.)  Chron.  ann.  1348  (Urstisii  II.  142-3). — Preger,  Der 
Kirch enpolitische  Karnpf,  pp.  56-60. 


158  THE    FRATICELLI. 

Yet  the  question  as  to  the  poverty  of  Christ,  which  had  been 
put  forward  by  John  and  Louis  as  the  ostensible  cause  of  quarrel, 
and  which  had  been  so  warmly  embraced  by  a  portion  at  least  of 
the  German  Franciscans,  sank  completely  out  of  sight  north  of  the 
Alps  with  the  death  of  Louis  and  the  extinction  of  the  Munich 
colony  of  refugees.  Germany  had  her  own  hordes  of  mendicants, 
regular  and  irregular,  in  the  Beguines  and  Beghards,  who  seem 
to  have  troubled  themselves  but  little  about  points  so  purely  specu- 
lative ;  and  though  we  occasionally  hear  of  Fraticelli  in  those 
regions,  it  is  rather  as  a  convenient  name  employed  by  monkish 
chroniclers  than  as  really  representing  a  distinctive  sect. 

It  was  otherwise  in  the  South,  and  especially  in  Italy,  the 
native  home  of  Franciscanism  and  of  the  peculiar  influences  which 
moulded  the  special  ascetic  development  of  the  Order.  There  the 
impulses  which  had  led  the  earlier  Spirituals  to  endure  the  ex- 
tremity of  persecution  in  vindication  of  the  holiness  of  absolute 
poverty  were  still  as  strong  as  ever.  Under  Boniface  and  Clement 
and  during  the  earlier  years  of  John  its  professors  had  lain  in 
hiding  or  had  sought  the  friendly  refuge  of  Sicily.  In  the  con- 
fusion  of  the  Franciscan  schism  they  had  emerged  and  multiplied. 
With  the  downfall  of  the  antipope  and  the  triumph  of  John  they 
were  once  more  proscribed.  In  the  quarrel  over  the  poverty  of 
Christ,  that  tenet  had  naturally  become  the  distinguishing  mark 
of  the  sectaries,  and  its  condemnation  by  John  necessarily  entailed 
the  consequence  of  denying  the  papal  authority  and  asserting  the 
heresy  of  the  Holy  See.  Yet  there  can  be  no  doubt  that  among  the 
austerer  members  of  the  orthodox  Order  who  accepted  the  defini- 
tions of  the  papacy  there  was  much  sympathy  felt  for  the  rebellious 
dissidents.  Resistance  to  the  imperious  will  of  John  XXII.  having 
failed,  there  were  abundant  stories  of  visions  and  miracles  circu- 
lated from  convent  to  convent,  as  to  the  wrath  of  God  and  of  St. 
Francis  visited  upon  those  who  infringed  upon  the  holy  vow  of 
poverty.  The  Liber  Conformitatum  is  manifestly  the  expression  of 
the  aspirations  of  those  who  wished  to  enforce  the  Rule  in  all  its 
strictness  as  the  direct  revelation  of  the  Holy  Spirit.  Such  men 
felt  that  the  position  of  their  proscribed  brethren  was  logically  cor- 
rect, and  they  were  unable  to  reconcile  the  decrees  of  Xicholas  III. 
with  those  of  John  XXII.  One  of  these,  described  as  a  man  much 
beloved  of  God,  applied  to  St.  Birgitta  to  resolve  his  doubts,  where- 


ITALIAN    FRATICELLI    FAVORED.  159 

upon  she  had  two  visions  in  which  the  Virgin  sent  him  her  com- 
mands to  say  to  all  who  believed  that  the  pope  was  no  pope,  and 
that  priests  do  not  truly  consecrate  the  host  in  the  mass,  that  they 
were  heretics  filled  with  diabolical  iniquity.  All  this  points  to  a 
strong  secret  sympathy  with  the  Fraticelli  which  extended  not 
only  among  the  people,  but  among  the  friars  and  occasionally 
even  among  the  prelates,  explaining  the  ability  of  the  sectaries  to 
maintain  their  existence  from  generation  to  generation  in  spite  of 
almost  unremitting  persecution  by  the  Inquisition.* 

In  1335,  one  of  the  earliest  cares  of  Benedict  XII.  after  his 
accession  was  the  repression  of  these  Fratres  de  paupere  Vita,  as 
they  styled  themselves.  They  still  in  many  places  publicly  dis- 
played their  contumacy  by  wearing  the  short  and  narrow  gowns 
of  the  Spirituals.  They  still  held  Michele  to  be  their  general,  in- 
sulted the  memory  of  John  XXII.,  and  were  earnestly  and  success- 
fully engaged  in  proselytism.  Moreover,  they  were  openly  protect- 
ed by  men  of  rank  and  power.  All  the  inquisitors,  from  Treviso 
and  Lombardy  to  Sicily,  were  commanded  to  free  the  Church  from 
these  impious  hypocrites  by  vigorous  action,  and  directions  were 
sent  to  the  prelates  to  lend  efficient  assistance.  There  were  some, 
at  least,  of  the  latter  who  did  not  respond,  for  in  1336  Francesco, 
Bishop  of  Camerino,  and  Giacopo,  Bishop  of  Firmo,  were  sum- 
moned to  answer  for  favoring  the  sectaries  and  permitting  them 
to  live  in  their  dioceses.  The  whole  Order,  in  fact,  was  still  in- 
fected with  these  dangerous  doctrines,  and  could  not  be  brought 
to  view  the  dissidents  with  proper  abhorrence.  Benedict  com- 
plained that  in  the  kingdom  of  Naples  many  Franciscan  convents 
gave  shelter  to  these  perverse  brethren,  and  in  a  bull  regulating 
the  Order  issued  this  same  year  he  alludes  to  those  among  them 
who  wear  peculiar  vestments  and,  under  a  pretended  exterior  of 
sanctity,  maintain  heresies  condemned  by  the  Church  of  Home; 
all  such,  together  with  those  who  protect  them,  are  to  be  impris- 
oned until  they  submit.  It  was  not  always  easy  to  enforce  obedi- 
ence to  these  mandates.  The  Bishop  of  Camerino  was  stubborn, 
and  the  next  year,  1337,  Fra  Giovanni  di  Borgo,  the  inquisitor  of 


*  Wadding,  ann.  1330,  No.  14-15.— Alvar.  Pelag.  de  Planet.  Eccles.  Lib.  11. 
art.  51  (fol.  169  a).— Lib.  Conformitatum  Lib.  1.  Fruct.  ix.  p.  ii.— Revel.  S.  Brigit- 
t£e  Lib.  vii.  c.  8. 


160  THE    FRATICELLI. 

the  Mark  of  Ancona,  was  instructed  to  proceed  severely  against 
him  and  other  fautors  of  these  heretics.  By  his  active  operations 
Fra  Giovanni  incurred  the  ill-will  of  the  nobles  of  his  district,  who 
had  sufficient  influence  with  the  general,  Gerard  Odo,  to  procure 
his  replacement  by  his  associate  Giacomo  and  subsequently  by  Si- 
mone  da  Ancona,  but  the  Cardinal  Legate  Bertrand  intervened, 
and  Benedict  restored  him  with  high  encomiums  on  his  efficiency. 
Although  persecution  was  thus  active,  it  is  probable  that  few  of 
the  sectaries  had  the  spirit  of  martyrdom,  and  that  they  recanted 
under  pressure,  but  there  was  no  hesitation  in  inflicting  the  full 
punishment  of  heresy  on  those  who  were  persistent.  June  3, 1337, 
at  Venice,  Fra  Francesco  da  Pistoia  was  burned  for  pertinaciously 
asserting  the  poverty  of  Christ  in  contempt  of  the  definitions  of 
John  XXII.,  nor  was  he  the  only  victim.* 

The  test  of  heresy,  as  I  have  said,  was  the  assertion  that  Christ 
and  the  apostles  held  no  property.  This  appears  from  the  abjura- 
tion of  Fra  Francesco  d?  Ascoli  in  1344,  who  recants  that  belief 
and  declares  that  in  accordance  with  the  bulls  of  John  XXII.  he 
holds  it  to  be  heretical.  That  such  continued  to  be  the  customary 
formula  appears  from  Eymerich,  who  instructs  his  inquisitor  to 
make  the  penitent  declare  under  oath, "  I  swear  that  I  believe  in 
my  heart  and  profess  that  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  and  his  apostles 
while  in  this  mortal  life  held  in  common  the  things  which  Scrip- 
ture declares  them  to  have  had,  and  that  they  had  the  right  of 
giving,  selling,  and  alienating  theni."  f 

The  heresy  was  thus  so  purely  an  artificial  one,  created  by  the 
Holy  See,  that  perhaps  it  is  not  difficult  to  understand  the  sym- 
pathy excited  by  these  poor  and  self-denying  ascetics,  who  bore  all 
the  external  marks  of  what  the  Church  had  for  ages  taught  to  be 
exceeding  holiness.  Camerino  continued  to  be  a  place  of  refuge. 
In  1343  Clement  VI.  ordered  the  Bishops  of  Ancona  and  Osimo  to 
cite  before  him  within  three  months  Gentile,  Lord  of  Camerino, 
for  various  offences,  among  which  was  protecting  the  Fraticelli, 
impeding  the  inquisitors  in  the  prosecution  of  tbeir  duties,  and  de- 

*  Wadding,  ann.  1335,  No.  10-11:  ami.  1336,  No.  1;  ann.  1337,  No.  1;  aim. 
1339.  No.  1.—  Raynald.  aim.  1335,  No.  63  ;  ann.  1336,  No.  63,  64,  66-7  ;  ann.  1337, 
No.  30;  ann.  1375,  No.  64. — Comba,  La  Riforma  in  Italia,  I.  328.— Vit.  Prima 
Benedict!  XII.  ann.  1337  (Muratori  S.  R.  I.  III.  n.  531). 

f  D'Argentre  I.  i.  345. — Eymeric.  p.  486. 


THE  HERESY  OPENLY  DEFENDED.       161 

spising  for  several  years  the  excommunication  which  they  had 
pronounced  against  him.  Even  the  inquisitors  themselves,  espe- 
cially in  Franciscan  districts,  were  not  always  earnest  in  the  work, 
possibly  because  there  was  little  prospect  of  profitable  confiscations 
to  be  procured  from  those  who  regarded  the  possession  of  property 
as  a  sin,  and  in  1346  Clement  found  himself  obliged  to  reprove  them 
sharply  for  their  tepidity.  In  such  districts  the  Fraticelli  showed 
themselves  with  little  concealment.  "When,  in  1348,  Cola  di  Eienzo 
fled  from  Rome  after  his  first  tribuneship,  he  betook  himself  to 
the  Fraticelli  of  Monte  Maiella ;  he  was  charmed  with  their  holi- 
ness and  poverty,  entered  the  Order  as  a  Tertiary,  and  deplored 
that  men  so  exemplary  should  be  persecuted  by  the  pope  and  the 
Inquisition.  Tuscany  was  full  of  them.  It  was  in  vain  that  about 
this  period  Florence  adopted  severe  laws  for  their  repression,  plac- 
ing them  under  the  ban,  empowering  any  one  to  capture  them 
and  deliver  them  to  the  Inquisition,  and  imposing  a  fine  of  five 
hundred  lire  on  any  official  declining,  when  summoned  by  the  in- 
quisitors, to  assist  in  their  arrest.  The  very  necessity  of  enacting 
such  laws  shows  how  difficult  it  was  to  stimulate  the  people  to 
join  the  persecution.  Even  this  appears  to  have  been  ineffectual. 
There  is  extant  a  letter  from  Giovanni  delle  Celle  of  Vallombrosa 
to  Tommaso  di  Neri,  a  Fraticello  of  Florence,  in  which  the  former 
attacks  the  fatuity  of  the  latter  in  making  an  idol  of  poverty ;  the 
letter  was  answered  and  led  to  a  controversy  which  seems  to  have 
been  conducted  openly.* 

Yet,  trivial  as  was  apparently  the  point  at  issue,  it  was  impos- 
sible that  men  could  remain  contentedly  under  the  ban  of  the 
Church  without  being  forced  to  adopt  principles  destructive  of  the 
whole  ecclesiastical  organization.  They  could  only  justify  them- 
selves by  holding  that  the}^  were  the  true  Church,  that  the  papacy 
was  heretical  and  had  forfeited  its  claim  of  obedience,  and  could 
no  longer  guide  the  faithful  to  salvation.  It  is  an  interest- 
ing proof  of  the  state  of  public  opinion  in  Italy,  that  in  spite  of 
the  thoroughly  organized  machinery  of  persecution,  men  who  held 
these  doctrines  were  able  to  disseminate  them  almost  publicly  and 


*  Werunsky  Excerptt.  ex  Registt.  Clem.  PP.  VI.  pp.  23-4. — Raynald.  ann. 
1346,  No.  70—  Comba,  La  Riforma,  I.  326-7,  387.— Lami,  Antichita  Toscane,  pp. 
528,  595. 

III.— 11 


162  THE    FRATICELLI. 

to  make  numerous  proselytes.  About  the  middle  of  the  century 
they  circulated  throughout  Italy  a  document  written  in  the  ver- 
nacular, "  so  that  it  can  be  understood  by  every  one,"  giving  their 
reasons  for  separating  themselves  from  pope  and  prelate.  It  is 
singularly  temperate  in  tone  and  logical  in  structure.  The  argu- 
ment is  drawn  strictly  from  Scripture  and  from  the  utterances  of 
the  Church  itself,  and  from  even  the  standpoint  of  a  canonist  it  is 
unanswerable.  There  are  no  apocalyptic  hysterics,  no  looking  for- 
ward to  Antichrist  or  to  new  ages  of  the  world,  no  mysticism. 
There  is  not  even  any  reference  to  St.  Francis,  nor  an}^  claim  that 
his  Kule  is  inspired  and  inviolable.  Yet  none  the  less  the  whole 
body  of  the  Church  is  declared  to  be  heretic,  and  all  the  faithful 
are  summoned  to  cut  loose  from  it. 

The  reasons  alleged  for  this  are  three — First,  heresy  ;  second, 
simony ;  third,  fornication.  As  to  the  first,  John  XXII.  is  proved 
to  be  a  heretic  by  the  bulls  pronouncing  heretical  the  doctrine  that 
Christ  and  the  apostles  possessed  nothing.  This  is  easily  done  by 
reason  of  the  definitions  of  the  previous  popes  confirmed  by  the 
Council  of  Yienne.  The  corollary  of  course  follows  that  all  his 
successors  and  their  cardinals  are  heretics.  As  regards  simony, 
the  canons  of  the  Decretum  and  the  utterances  of  the  doctors  are 
quoted  to  show  that  it  is  heresy.  As  regards  fornication,  it  was 
easy  to  cite  the  canons  embodying  the  Hiidebrandine  doctrine  that 
the  sacraments  of  fornicating  priests  are  not  to  be  received.  It  is 
true  that  there  are  many  priests  who  are  not  fornicators,  but  there 
are  none  who  are  not  simonists — who  have  not  given  or  received 
money  for  the  sacraments.  Even  if  he  could  be  found  who  is  in- 
nocent on  all  these  heads,  it  would  be  necessary  for  him  to  sepa- 
rate himself  from  the  rest,  for,  as  Raymond  of  Pennaf orte  shows  in 
his  Summa,  those  are  guilty  of  mortal  sin  and  idolatry  who  receive 
the  sacraments  of  heretics.  The  Fraticelli,  therefore,  have  been 
obliged  to  withdraw  from  a  heretical  church,  and  they  issue  this 
manifesto  to  justify  their  course.  If  in  any  way  it  is  erroneous, 
they  ask  to  have  the  error  pointed  out ;  and  if  it  is  correct,  the 
faithful  are  bound  to  join  them,  because,  after  the  facts  are  known., 
association  with  prelates  and  clergy  thus  heretical  and  excommuni- 
cate will  involve  in  heresy  all  who  are  guilty  of  it.* 


»  Comba,  La  Riforma,  I.  568-71. 


INFLUENCE  OF  JOACHIM.  163 

All  the  Fraticelli,  however,  were  not  uniformly  agreed  upon  all 
points.  In  the  above  document  a  leading  argument  is  drawn  from 
the  assumed  vitiation  of  the  sacraments  in  polluted  hands a  dan- 
gerous tenet,  constantly  recurring  to  plague  the  successors  of 
Hildebrand — which  we  do  not  find  in  other  utterances  of  the  sec- 
taries. In  fact,  we  find  them,  in  1362,  divided  into  two  branches, 
one  of  which  recognized  as  its  leader  Tommaso,  ex-Bishop  of 
Aquino,  and  held  that  as  John  XXII.  and  his  successors  were 
heretics,  the  sacrament  of  ordination  derived  from  them  was  void, 
and  reordination  was  required  of  all  ecclesiastics  entering  the  sect. 
The  other,  which  took  its  name  from  Felipe  of  Majorca,  was  reg- 
ularly organized  under  a  general  minister,  and,  while  equally  re- 
garding the  popes  as  heretics,  recognized  the  ordinations  of  the 
establishment.  All  branches  of  the  sect,  however,  drew  ample 
store  of  reasons  from  the  venality  and  corruption  of  the  Church, 
which  was  doubtless  their  most  convincing  argument  with  the 
people.  There  is  extant  a  letter  in  the  vulgar  tongue  from  a  f rate 
to  two  female  devotees,  arguing,  like  the  more  formal  manifesto, 
that  they  are  bound  to  withdraw  from  the  communion  of  the 
heretical  church.  This  is  the  beast  with  seven  horns,  which  are  :  1, 
supreme  pride ;  2,  supreme  cruelty ;  .3,  supreme  folly  or  wrath  ;  4, 
supreme  deceit  and  inimitable  falsehood ;  5,  supreme  carnality  or 
lust ;  6,  supreme  cupidity  or  avarice  ;  7,  supreme  hatred  of  truth, 
or  malice.  The  ministers  of  this  heretic  church  have  no  shame  in 
publicly  keeping  concubines,  and  in  selling  Christ  for  money  in  the 
sacraments.  This  letter  further  indicates  the  legitimate  descent 
of  the  Fraticelli  from  the  Spirituals  by  a  quotation  from  Joachim 
to  show  that  St.  Francis  is  Noah,  and  the  faithful  few  of  his  chil- 
dren are  those  who  are  saved  with  him  in  the  Ark.* 

A  still  closer  connection  may  be  inferred  from  a  bull  of  Urban 
V.,  issued  about  1365,  instructing  inquisitors  to  be  active  in  exter- 
minating heretics,  and  describing  for  their  information  the  differ- 
ent heresies.  The  Fraticelli  are  represented  as  indulging  in  glut- 
tony and  lasciviousness  under  the  cover  of  strict  external  sanctity, 
pretending  to  be  Franciscan  Tertiaries,  and  begging  publicly  or 
living  in  their  own  houses.     It  is  possible,  however,  that  his  de- 


*  Tocco,  Archivio  Storico  Napoletano,  1887,  Fasc.  1. — Comba,  La  Rifonna,  T. 
321-4. 


164:  THE    FRATICELLI. 

scription  of  their  holding  assemblies  in  which  they  read  Olivi's 
"  Postil  on  the  Apocalypse  "  and  his  other  works,  but  chiefly  the.  ac- 
count of  his  death,  is  rather  borrowed  from  Bernard  Gui's  account 
of  the  Spirituals  of  Languedoc,  than  a  correct  statement  of  the 
customs  of  the  Fraticelli  of  his  time." 

Of  the  final  shape  which  the  heresy  assumed  we  have  an  au- 
thoritative account  from  its  ruthless  exterminator,  the  Inquisitor 
Giacomo  della  Marca.  In  his  "  Dialogue  with  a  Fraticello,"  written 
about  1450,  there  is  no  word  about  the  follies  of  the  Spirituals,  or 
any  extraneous  dogmas.  The  question  turns  wholly  on  the  pov- 
erty of  Christ  and  the  heresy  of  John's  definitions  of  the  doctrine. 
The  Fraticelli  stigmatize  the  orthodox  as  Joannistae,  and  in  turn 
are  called  Michaelistae,  showing  that  by  this  time  the  extrava- 
gances of  the  Spirituals  had  been  forgotten,  and  that  the  heretics 
were  the  direct  descendants  of  the  schismatic  Franciscans  who 
followed  Michele  da  Cesena,  The  disorders  and  immorality  of 
the  clergy  still  afforded  them  their  most  effective  arguments  in 
their  active  missionary  work.  Giacomo  complains  that  they 
abused  the  minds  of  the  simple  by  representing  the  priests  as 
simonists  and  concubinarians,  and  that  the  people,  imbued  with 
this  poison,  lost  faith  in  the  clergy,  refused  to  confess  to  them,  to 
attend  their  masses,  to  receive  their  sacraments,  and  to  pay  their 
tithes,  thus  becoming  heretics  and  pagans  and  children  of  the 
devil,  while  fancying  themselves  children  of  God.t 

The  Fraticelli  thus  formed  one  or  more  separate  organizations, 
each  of  which  asserted  itself  to  be  the  only  true  Church.  In  the 
scanty  information  which  we  possess,  it  is  impossible  to  trace  in 
detail  the  history  of  the  fragmentary  parts  into  which  they  split, 
and  we  can  only  say  in  general  terms  that  the  sect  did  not  consist 
simply  of  anchorites  and  friars,  but  had  its  regular  clergy  and 
laity,  its  bishops  and  their  supreme  head  or  pope,  known  as  the 
Bishop  of  Philadelphia,  that  being  the  name  assigned  to  the  com- 
munity. In  1357  this  position  was  filled  by  Tommaso,  the  ex- 
Bishop  of  Aquino ;  chance  led  to  the  discovery  of  such  a  pope  in 
Perugia  in  1374 ;  in  1429  we  happen  to  know  that  a  certain  Eai- 
naldo  filled  the  position,  and  shortly  after  a  frate  named  Gabriel. 


*  Martini  Append,  ad  Mosheirn  de  Beghardis  p.  505. 
t  Jac.  de  Marchia  Dial.  (Baluz.  et  Mansi  II.  595  sqq.). 


ACTIVE    PERSECUTION.  165 

There  is  even  talk  of  a  chief  of  the  laity  who  styled  himself  Em- 
peror of  the  Christians.* 

It  was  in  vain  that  successive  popes  ordered  the  Inquisition  to 
take  the  most  active  measures  for  the  suppression  of  the  sect,  and 
that  occasional  holocausts  rewarded  their  exertions,  as  when,  under 
Urban  V.  nine  were  burned  at  Yiterbo,  and  in  1389  Fra  Michele 
Berti  de  Calci  suffered  the  same  fate  at  Florence.  This  last  case 
reveals  in  its  details  the  popular  sympathy  which  favored  the 
labors  of  the  Fraticelli.  Fra  Michele  had  been  sent  to  Florence 
as  a  missionary  by  a  congregation  of  the  sect  which  met  in  a  cav- 
ern in  the  Mark  of  Ancona.  He  preached  in  Florence  and  made 
many  converts,  and  was  about  leaving  the  city,  April  19,  when 
he  was  betrayed  by  five  female  zealots,  who  sent  for  him  pretend- 
ing to  seek  conversion.  His  trial  was  short.  A  colleague  saved 
his  life  by  recantation,  but  Michele  was  firm.  When  brought  up 
in  judgment  to  be  degraded  from  the  priesthood  he  refused  to 
kneel  before  the  bishop,  saying  that  heretics  are  not  to  be  knelt 
to.  In  walking  to  the  place  of  execution  many  of  the  crowd  ex- 
changed words  of  cheer  with  him,  leading  to  considerable  disturb- 
ance, and  when  tied  to  a  stake  in  a  sort  of  cabin  which  was  to  be 
set  on  fire,  a  number  put  their  heads  inside  to  beg  him  to  recant. 
The  place  was  several  times  filled  with  smoke  to  frighten  him, 
but  he  was  unyielding,  and  after  his  incremation  there  were  many 
people,  we  are  told,  who  regarded  him  as  a  saint,  f 

Proceedings  such  as  this  were  not  likely  to  diminish  the  favor 
with  which  the  Fraticelli  were  popularly  regarded.  The  two  Sici- 
lies continued  to  be  thoroughly  interpenetrated  with  the  heresy. 
When,  in  1362,  Luigi  di  Durazzo  made  his  abortive  attempt  at 
rebellion,  he  regarded  the  popularity  of  the  Fraticelli  as  an  ele- 

*  Raynald.  ann.  1344,  No.  8;  1357,  No.  12;  1374,  No.  14.— Jac.  de  Marchia 
Dial.  (I  c.  599,  608-9). 

It  may  surprise  a  modern  infallibilist  to  learn  that  so  thoroughly  orthodox 
and  learned  an  inquisitor  as  the  blessed  Giacomo  della  Marca  admits  that  there 
have  been  heretic  popes — popes  who  persisted  and  died  in  their  heresy.  He 
comforts  himself,  however,  with  the  reflection  that  they  have  always  been  suc- 
ceeded by  Catholic  pontiffs  (1.  c.  p.  599). 

t  Werunsky,  Excerptt.  ex  Registt.  Clem.  VI.  et  Innoc.  VI.  p.  91.  —  Raynald. 
ann.  1354,  No.  31;  ann.  1368,  No.  16.— Wadding,  ann.  1354,  No.  6-7;  1368,  No. 
4-6.— Comba,  La  Riforma,  I.  327,  329-37.— Cantu,  Eretici  d1  Italia,  I.  133-4.— 
Eymeric.  p.  328. 


166  THE    FRATICELLI. 

ment  of  sufficient  importance  for  him  to  publicly  proclaim  sym- 
pathy with  them,  to  collect  them  around  him,  and  have  Tommaso 
of  Aquino  celebrate  mass  for  him.  Francesco  Marchisio,  Arch- 
deacon of  Salerno,  was  a  Fraticello,  in  spite  of  which  he  was  ele- 
vated to  the  see  of  Trivento  in  1362,  and  occupied  it  till  his  death 
about  twenty  years  later.  In  1372  Gregory  XI.  was  shocked  to 
learn  that  in  Sicily  the  bones  of  Fraticelli  were  venerated  as  the 
relics  of  saints,  that  chapels  and  churches  were  built  in  their  honor, 
and  that  on  their  anniversaries  the  populace  flocked  thither  with 
candles  to  worship  them ;  but  it  is  not  likely  that  his  instructions 
to  the  inquisitors  to  put  an  end  to  these  unseemly  manifestations 
of  mistaken  piety  were  successful.  At  Perugia,  in  1368,  the  mag- 
istrates were  induced  to  throw  many  of  the  Fraticelli  into  prison, 
but  to  so  little  purpose  that  the  people  persisted  in  regarding  them 
as  the  true  children  of  St.  Francis  and  in  giving  them  shelter,  while 
the  Franciscans  were  despised  on  account  of  the  laxity  of  their 
observance,  the  luxury  of  their  houses,  the  costliness  of  their  vest- 
ments, and  the  profusion  of  their  table.  They  were  ridiculed  and 
insulted  in  the  streets  until  they  scarce  dared  to  venture  in  public ; 
if  one  chanced  to  let  the  collar  of  his  shirt  show  above  his  gown, 
some  one  would  pull  up  the  linen  and  ask  the  jeering  crowd  if  this 
was  the  austerity  of  St.  Francis.  As  a  last  resort,  in  1374,  they 
sent  for  Paoluccio  of  Foligno  and  a  public  disputation  was  arranged 
with  the  Fraticelli.  Paoluccio  turned  the  tide  of  popular  favor 
by  proving  that  obedience  to  the  pope  was  of  greater  moment  than 
obedience  to  the  Eule,  and  the  Fraticelli  were  driven  from  the 
town.  Even  then  the  Inquisition  seems  not  to  have  dared  to  pros- 
ecute them.* 

The  proselyting  efforts  of  the  Fraticelli  were  by  no  means  con- 
fined to  Italy.  Believing  themselves  the  only  true  Church,  it  was 
their  duty  to  carry  salvation  throughout  the  world,  and  there  were 

*  Tocco,  Archivio  Storico  Napoletano,  1887,  Fasc.  1. — Raynald.  ann.  1368, 
No.  16;  ann.  1372,  No.  36.— Wadding,  ann.  1374,  No.  19-23.— Pet.  Rodulphii 
Hist.  Seraph.  Relig.  Lib.  n.  fol.  154  a. 

Perugia  at  this  period  was  a  centre  of  religious  excitement.  A  certain  Piero 
Garigh,  who  seems  to  have  been  in  some  way  connected  with  the  Fraticelli,  gave 
himself  out  as  the  Son  of  God,  and  dignified  his  disciples  with  the  names  of 
apostles.  In  the  brief  allusion  which  we  have  to  him  he  is  said  to  have  obtained 
ten  of  these  and  to  be  in  search  of  an  eleventh.  His  fate  is  not  recorded. — Pro- 
cessus contra  Valdenses  (Archivio  Storico  Italiano,  1865,  No.  39,  p.  50). 


THEIR    MISSIONARY    ZEAL.  167 

earnest  spirits  among  them  who  were  ready  to  dare  as  much  as 
the  orthodox  among  the  infidels  and  barbarians.  Already,  in  1344, 
Clement  VI.  found  himself  obliged  go  address  the  archbishops,  bish- 
ops, and  all  the  faithful  throughout  Armenia,  Persia,  and  the  East, 
warning  them  against  these  emissaries  of  Satan,  who  were  seek- 
ing to  scatter  among  them  the  seeds  of  error  and  schism.  He  had 
no  inquisitors  to  call  upon  in  those  regions,  but  he  ordered  the  prel- 
ates to  inquire  after  them  and  to  punish  them,  authorizing  them, 
with  a  singular  lack  of  perception,  to  invoke,  if  necessary,  the  aid 
of  the  secular  arm.  The  Fraticelli  made  at  least  one  convert  of 
importance,  for  in  1346  Clement  felt  himself  obliged  to  cite  for 
appearance  within  four  months  no  less  a  personage  than  the  Arch- 
bishop of  Seleucia,  who,  infected  with  pseudo-minorite  errors,  had 
written  in  Armenian  and  was  circulating  throughout  Asia  a  postil 
on  St.  John  in  which  he  asserted  the  forbidden  doctrine  of  the 
poverty  of  Christ.  In  1354  Innocent  VI.  heard  of  Fraticellian 
missionaries  laboring  among  the  Chazars  of  the  Crimea,  and  he 
forthwith  ordered  the  Bishop  of  Caffa  to  repress  them  with  inquis- 
itorial methods.  In  1375  Gregory  XI.  learned  that  they  were 
active  in  Egypt,  Syria,  and  Asia,  and  he  promptly  ordered  the 
Franciscan  provincial  of  those  regions  to  enforce  on  them  the  se- 
verity of  the  laws.  One,  named  Lorenzo  Carbonello,  had  ventured 
to  Tunis,  to  infect  with  his  heresy  the  Christians  of  that  kingdom, 
whereupon  Gregory  commanded  Giacomo  Patani  and  Guillen  de 
Ripoll,  the  captains  of  the  Christian  troops  in  the  service  of  the 
Bey  of  Tunis,  to  seize  him  and  send  him  in  chains  to  the  Arch- 
bishop of  Naples  or  of  Pisa.  Doubtless,  if  the  command  was 
obeyed,  it  led  the  unthinking  Moslem  to  thank  Allah  that  they 
were  not  Christians.* 

In  Languedoc  and  Provence  the  rigorous  severity  with  which 
the  Spirituals  had  been  exterminated  seems  to  have  exercised  a 
wholesome  influence  in  repressing  the  Fraticelli,  but  nevertheless 
a  few  cases  on  record  shows  the  existence  of  the  sect.  In  1336  we 
hear  of  a  number  confined  in  the  papal  dungeons  of  Avignon — 
among  them  a  papal  chaplain — and  that  Guillaume  Lombard,  the 
judge  of  ecclesiastical  causes,  was  ordered  to  exert  against  them 


*  Raynald.  aim.  1344,  No.  8 ;  ann.  1346,  No.  70 ;  ann.  1354,  No.  31 ;  ann.  1375, 

No.  27. 


16S  THE    FRATICELLI. 

the  full  severity  of  the  lavs.  In  1354  two  Tuscan  Fraticelli,  Gio- 
vanni  da  Castigiione  and  Francesco  d'  Arquata.  were  arrested  at 
Montpellier  for  holding  that  John  XXII.  had  forfeited  his  author- 
ity by  altering  the  definitions  of  the  bull  Exiit,  and  that  his  suc- 
cessors were  not  the  true  Church.  Innocent  VI.  caused  them 
to  be  brought  before  him,  but  all  efforts  to  make  them  recant 
were  vain ;  they  went  tranquilly  to  the  stake,  singing  Gloria  in 
excelsis,  and  were  reverenced  as  martyrs  by  a  large  number  of 
their  brethren.  Two  others,  named  Jean  de  Xarbonne  and  Mau- 
rice had  not  long  before  met  the  same  fate  at  Avignon.  In  north- 
ern France  we  hear  little  of  the  heresy.  The  only  recorded  case 
seems  to  be  that  of  Denis  Soulechat.  a  professor  of  the  University 
of  Paris,  who  taught  in  1363  that  the  law  of  divine  love  does  away 
with  property,  and  that  Christ  and  the  apostles  held  none.  Sum- 
moned by  the  Inquisitor  Guillaume  Eochin,  he  abjured  before  the 
Faculty  and  then  appealed  to  the  pope.  At  Avignon,  when  he 
endeavored  to  purge  himself  before  an  assembly  of  theologians, 
he  only  added  new  errors  to  his  old  ones,  and  was  sent  back  to 
the  Cardinal  of  Beauvais  and  the  Sorbonne  with  orders  to  make 
him  recant,  and  to  punish  him  properly  with  the  advice  of  the 
inquisitor.     In  136S  he  was  forced  to  a  public  abjuration.* 

In  Spam  a  few  cases  show  that  the  heresy  extended  across 
the  Pyrenees.  In  Valencia,  Fray  Jayme  Justi  and  the  Tertianes 
Guillermo  Gelabert  and  Marti  Petri,  when  arrested  by  E.  de 
Masqueta.  commissioner  of  the  Inquisitor  Leonardo  de  Puycerda, 
appealed  to  Clement  VI.,  who  ordered  the  Bishop  of  Valencia  to 
release  them  on  their  giving  bail  not  to  leave  the  city  until  their 
case  should  be  decided  at  Avignon.  They  must  have  had  wealthy 
disciples,  for  security  was  furnished  in  the  heavy  sum  of  thirty 
thousand  sols,  and  they  were  discharged  from  prison.  The  papal 
court  was  in  no  hurry  with  the  case — probably  it  was  forgotten — 
when,  in  1353,  Clement  learned  that  the  two  Tertiaries  were  dead, 
and  that  Justi  was  in  the  habit  of  leaving  the  city  and  spreading 
his  pestiferous  doctrines  among  the  people.    He  therefore  ordered 


*  Raynald.  aim.  1336,  Xo.  64;  ann.  1351.  Xo.  31;  aim.  1368,  Xo.  16-7.— Ar- 
chives de  rinq.  de  Carcass.  (Doat,  XXXV.  130). — Mosheiins  Ketz'-rgeschichte  L 
387.  — Henr.  Rebdorff  Annal.  ann.  1353  (Freher  et  Stray.  I.  632).—  Eymeric. 
p.  358.— D'Argentrg,  I.  i.  383-6. 


THE    HERESY    IN    SPAIN.  169 

Hugo,  Bishop  of  Valencia,  and  the  Inquisitor  Nicolas  Roselli  to 
prosecute  the  case  forthAvith.  Justi  must  have  recanted,  for  he 
was  merely  imprisoned  for  life,  while  the  bones  of  the  two  Terti- 
aries  were  dug  up  and  burned.  Even  more  obdurate  was  Fray 
Arnaldo  Mutaner,  who  for  nineteen  years  infected  Puycerda  and 
Urgel  with  the  same  heresy.  He  was  contumacious  and  refused 
to  appear  when  summoned  to  abjure.  After  consultation  with 
Gregory  XL,  Berenger  Darili,  Bishop  of  Urgel,  condemned  him, 
and  so  did  Eymerich.  Pursuit  apparently  grew  hot,  and  he  fled 
to  the  East.  The  last  we  hear  of  him  is  in  1373,  when  Gregory 
ordered  his  vicar,  the  Franciscan  Arnaud,  to  seize  him  and  send 
him  in  chains  to  the  papal  court,  but  whether  the  effort  was 
successful  we  have  no  means  of  knowing.  A  bull  of  Martin 
Y.  in  1426  shows  the  continued  existence  of  Fraticelli  in  Ara- 
gon  and  Catalonia,  and  the  necessity  of  active  measures  for  their 
extirpation.* 

It  was  probably  a  heresy  of  the  same  nature  which,  in  1442, 
was  discovered  in  Durango,  Biscay.  The  heresiarch  was  the  Fran- 
ciscan Alonso  de  Mella,  brother  of  Juan,  Cardinal-bishop  of  Za- 
mora,  and  the  sectaries  were  known  as  Cerceras.  The  story  that 
Alonso  taught  indiscriminate  sexual  intercourse  is  doubtless  one 
of  the  customary  exaggerations.  King  Juan  II.,  in  the  absence 
of  the  Inquisition,  sent  the  Franciscan,  Francisco  de  Soria,  and 
Juan  Alonso  Cherino,  Abbot  of  Alcala  la  Real,  to  investigate  the 
matter,  with  two  alguazils  and  a  sufficient  force.  The  heretics 
were  seized  and  carried,  some  to  Valladolid  and  some  to  Santo 
Domingo  de  la  Calcada,  where  torture  was  used  to  extract  con- 
fession, and  the  obstinate  ones  were  burned  in  considerable  num- 
bers. Fray  Alonso  de  Mella,  however,  managed  to  escape  and 
fled  to  Granada,  it  is  said,  with  some  of  his  girls ;  but  he  did  not 
avert  his  fate,  for  he  was  acanavereado  by  the  Moors — that  is,  put 
to  a  lingering  death  with  pointed  sticks.  The  affair  must  have 
made  a  profound  impression  on  the  popular  mind,  for  even  until 
modern  times  the  people  of  Durango  were  reproached  by  their 
neighbors  with  the  " autos  de  Fray  Alonso"  and  in  1828  an  over- 
zealous  alcalde,  to  obliterate  all  record  of  the  matter,  burned  the 


*  Ripoll  II.  245.—  Eymeric.  pp.  266-7.— Raynald.  aim.  1373,  No.  19;  ami.  1426, 
No.  18.— Wadding,  ann.  1371,  No.  26-30. 


170  THE    FRATICELLI. 

original  documents  of  the  process,  which  till  then  had  reposed 
quietly  among  the  records  of  the  parish  church.* 

The  violent  measures  of  John  XXII.,  followed  up  by  his  suc- 
cessors, for  a  while  effectually  repressed  the  spiritual  asceticism 
of  the  Franciscans.  Yet  it  was  impossible  that  impulses  which 
were  so  marked  a  characteristic  of  the  age  should  be  wholly  oblit- 
erated in  an  Order  in  which  they  had  become  traditional.  AVe 
see  this  in  the  kindness  manifested  by  the  Franciscans  to  the  Fra- 
ticelli  when  it  could  be  done  without  too  much  risk,  and  we  cannot 
doubt  that  there  were  many  who  aspired  to  imitate  the  founder 
without  daring  to  overleap  the  bounds  of  obedience.  Such  men 
could  not  but  look  with  alarm  and  disgust  at  the  growing  world- 
liness  of  the  Order  under  the  new  dispensation  of  John.  ^Vhen 
the  Provincial  of  Tuscany  could  lav  aside  five  hundred  florins  out 
of  the  alms  given  to  his  brethren,  and  then  lend  this  sum  to  the 
Hospital  of  S.  Maria  of  Siena  at  ten  per  cent,  per  annum,  although 
so  flagrant  a  violation  of  his  vows  and  of  the  canons  against  usurv 
brought  upon  him  the  penalty  of  degradation,  it  required  a  divine 
visitation  to  impress  his  sin  upon  the  minds  of  his  fellows,  and  he 
died  in  1373  in  great  agony  and  without  the  sacraments.  Various 
other  manfestations  about  the  same  time  indicate  the  magnitude 
of  the  evil  and  the  impossibility  of  suppressing  it  by  human  means. 
Under  Boniface  IX.,  Franciscans,  we  are  told,  were  in  the  habit 
of  seeking  dispensations  to  enable  them  to  hold  benefices  and  even 
pluralities ;  and  the  pope  decreed  that  any  Mendicant  desiring  to 
be  transferred  to  a  non-Mendicant  Order  should,  as  a  preliminary, 
pay  a  hundred  gold  florins  to  the  papal  camera.  Under  such  a 
system  there  could  be  scarce  a  pretence  of  maintaining  the  holy 
poverty  which  had  been  the  ideal  of  Francis  and  his  followers. t 

Yet  the  ardent  thirst  of  poverty  and  the  belief  that  in  it  lay 
the  only  assured  path  to  salvation  were  too  widely  diffused  to 
be  repressed.     Giovanni  Colombini,  a  rich  and  ambitious  citizen 


*  Garibay,  Comp.  Historial  de  Espana,  Lib.  xyi.  c.  31. — La  Puente,  Epit.  de 
la  Cronica  de  Juan  II.,  Lib.  rv.  c.  i. — Pelayo,  Heterodoxos  Espafioles,  I.  546-7. — 
Mariana,  Lib.  xxi.  c.  18. — Rodrigo,  Inquisicion,  II.  11-12. — Paramo,  p.  131. 

t  Wadding,  ann.  1383,  No.  2. — Gobelins  Persons  Cosinodrom.  Mt.  v.  c.  84 
(Meibom.  Rer.  German.  I.  317). 


GENTILE    OF    SPOLETO.  171 

of  Siena  had  his  thoughts  accidentally  directed  to  heaven.  His 
career  strikingly  resembles  that  of  Peter  Waldo,  save  that  the 
Church,  grown  wiser,  utilized  his  zeal  instead  of  antagonizing  him. 
The  Order  of  Jesuats  which  he  founded  was  approved  by  Urban  Y. 
in  1367.  It  was  an  order  of  lay  brethren  under  the  Augustinian 
Rule,  vowed  to  poverty  and  devoted  to  the  care  of  the  sick,  not 
unlike  that  of  the  Cellites  or  Alexians  of  the  Rhinelands.* 

It  was  inevitable  that  there  should  be  dissatisfaction  among 
the  more  ascetic  Franciscans,  and  that  the  more  zealous  of  these 
should  seek  some  remedy  short  of  heresy.  In  1350  Gentile  of 
Spoleto  obtained  from  Clement  YI.  authorization  for  some  houses 
of  stricter  observance.  Immediately  the  experience  of  Angelo 
and  Liberato  was  repeated.  The  wrath  of  the  Conventuals  was 
excited.  The  innovators  were  accused  of  adopting  the  short  and 
narrow  gowns  which  had  been  the  distinguishing  mark  of  the 
dreaded  Olivists.  In  the  General  Chapter  of  1353,  the  General 
Farignano  was  urged  to  exterminate  them  by  the  measures  which 
had  proved  so  effective  in  Languedoc.  To  this  he  did  not  assent, 
but  he  set  spies  to  work  to  obtain  evidence  against  them,  and  soon 
was  able  to  accuse  them  of  receiving  Fraticelli.  They  admitted 
the  fact,  but  argued  that  this  had  been  in  the  hope  of  converting 
the  heretics,  and  when  they  proved  obstinate  they  had  been  ex- 
pelled— but  they  had  not  been  reported  to  the  Inquisition  as  duty 
required.  Armed  with  this,  Farignano  represented  to  Innocent  YI. 
the  grave  dangers  of  the  innovation,  and  obtained  a  revocation  of 
the  papal  authorization.  The  brethren  were  dispersed,  Gentile 
and  two  companions  were  thrown  into  prison  at  Orvieto ;  his  co- 
adjutor, Fra  Marti  no,  a  most  exemplary  man,  who  shone  in  mira- 
cles after  death,  died  the  next  year,  and  the  rest  were  reduced  to 
obedience.  After  prolonged  captivity  Gentile  was  released,  and 
died  in  1362,  wTorn  out  with  fruitless  labors  to  restore  the  disci- 
pline of  the  Order.f 

More  fortunate  was  his  disciple,  Paoluccio  da  Trinci,  of  Foligno, 
a  simple  and  unlearned  friar,  who  had  obtained  from  his  kinsman, 


*  Baluz.  et  Mansi  IV.  566  sqq.  In  1606  Paul  V.  allowed  the  Jesuats  to  take 
orders. 

f  Wadding,  ann.  1350,  No.  15  ;  ann.  1354,  No.  1,  2;  ann.  1362,  No.  4.— Chron. 
Glassberger  ann.  1352, 1354, 1355. 


172  THE   FRATICELLI. 

Ugolino,  Lord  of  Foligno,  a  dungeon  in  which  to  gratify  his  thirst 
for  asceticism.  Though  he  had  permission  for  this  from  his  su- 
periors, he  suffered  much  from  the  hostility  of  the  laxer  brethren, 
but  his  austerities  gained  him  great  popular  reverence  and  many 
disciples.  In  136S  the  General  Farignano  chanced  to  attend  a  pro- 
vincial chapter  at  Foligno,  and  was  persuaded  to  ask  of  Ugolino 
a  spot  called  Brulliano,  in  the  mountains  between  Foligno  and 
Camerino,  as  a  hermitage  for  Paoluccio  and  his  followers.  After 
his  request  was  granted  he  dreaded  a  schism  in  the  Order  and 
wished  to  recall  it,  but  Ugolino  held  him  to  his  purpose.  The 
place  was  wild,  rocky,  marshy,  unwholesome,  infested  with  ser- 
pents, and  almost  uninhabited.  Thither  Paoluccio  led  his  brethren, 
and  they  were  forced  to  adopt  the  sabots  or  wooden  shoes,  which 
became  the  distinguishing  foot-gear  of  their  Order.  Their  repu- 
tation spread  apace  ;  converts  flocked  to  them  ;  their  buildings 
required  enlargement ;  associate  houses  were  founded  in  many 
places,  and  thus  arose  the  Observantines,  or  Franciscans  of  strict 
observance — an  event  in  the  history  of  the  Church  only  second  in 
importance  to  the  original  foundation  of  the  Mendicant  Orders.* 

"When  Paoluccio  died,  in  1390,  he  was  already  reckoned  as  a 
provincial  within  the  Order.  After  an  interval  he  was  succeeded 
by  his  coadjutor,  Giovanni  Stronconi.  In  1405  began  the  marvel- 
lous career  of  St.  Bernardino  of  Siena,  who  counts  as  the  formal 
founder  of  the  Observantines.  They  had  merely  been  called  the 
Brethren  of  the  Hermitages  until  the  Council  of  Constance  estab- 
lished them  as  an  organization  virtually  independent  of  the  Con- 
ventuals, when  they  took  the  name  by  which  they  have  since  been 
known.  Everywhere  their  institution  spread.  Xew  houses  arose, 
or  those  of  the  Conventuals  were  reformed  and  given  over  to 
them.  Thus  in  1426  they  were  introduced  into  the  province  of 
Strassburg  through  the  intervention  of  Matilda  of  Savoy,  wife  of 
the  Palsgrave  Louis  the  Bearded.  Familiar  in  her  youth  with 
their  virtues,  she  took  occasion  at  Heidelberg  to  point  out  to  her 
husband  the  Franciscans  in  their  convent  garden  below  them, 
amusing  themselves  with  military  exercises.  It  resulted  in  the 
reform  of  all  the  houses  in  his  dominions  and  the  introduction  of 
the  Observantine  discipline,  not  without  serious  trouble.     In  1453 


*  Wadding,  ann.  1368,  No.  10-13. 


RISE    OF    THE    OBSERVANTINES.  173 

Nicholas  of  Cusa,  as  legate,  forced  all  the  houses  in  the  diocese  of 
Bamberg  to  adopt  the  Observantine  discipline,  under  threat  of 
forfeiting  their  privileges.  In  1431  the  holy  house  on  Mt.  Al- 
verno,  the  Franciscan  Mecca,  was  made  over  to  them,  and  in  1434 
the  guardianship  of  the  Holy  Places  in  Jerusalem.  In  1460  we 
hear  of  their  penetrating  to  distant  Ireland.  It  is  not  to  be  sup- 
posed that  the  Conventuals  submitted  quietly  to  the  encroach- 
ments and  triumphs  of  the  hated  ascetics  whom  for  a  century  and 
a  half  they  had  successfully  baffled  and  persecuted.  Quarrels, 
sharper  and  bitterer  even  than  those  with  the  Dominicans,  were 
of  constant  occurrence,  and  were  beyond  the  power  of  the  popes 
to  allay.  A  promising  effort  at  reunion  attempted  by  Capistrano 
in  1430,  under  the  auspices  of  Martin  V.,  was  defeated  by  the  in- 
curable laxity  of  the  Conventuals,  and  there  was  nothing  left  for 
both  sides  but  to  continue  the  war.  In  1435  the  strife  rose  to 
such  a  pitch  in  France  that  Charles  YIL  was  obliged  to  appeal 
to  the  Council  of  Basle,  which  responded  with  a  decree  in  favor 
of  the  Observantines.  The  struggle  was  hopeless.  The  corrup- 
tion of  the  Conventuals  was  so  universally  recognized  that  even 
Pius  II.  does  not  hesitate  to  say  that,  though  they  generally  excel 
as  theologians,  virtue  is  the  last  thing  about  which  most  of  them 
concern  themselves.  In  contrast  with  this  the  holiness  of  the  new 
organization  won  for  it  the  veneration  of  the  people,  while  the  un- 
flagging zeal  with  which  it  served  the  Holy  See  secured  for  it  the 
favor  of  the  popes  precisely  as  the  Mendicant  Orders  had  done  in 
the  thirteenth  century.  At  first  merely  a  branch  of  the  Francis- 
cans, then  placed  under  a  virtually  independent  vicar-general,  at 
length  Leo  X.,  after  vainly  striving  to  heal  the  differences,  gave 
the  Observantines  a  general  minister  and  reduced  the  Conventuals 
to  a  subordinate  position  under  a  general  master.* 


*  Wadding,  ann.  1375,  No.  44;  aim.  1390,  No.  1-10;  ami.  1403,  No.  1 ;  ann. 
1405,  No.  3 ;  ann.  1415,  No.  6-7;  ann.  1431,  No.  8;  ann.  1434,  No.  7;  ann.  1435, 
No.  12-13;  ann.  1453,  No.  18-26;  ann.  1454,  No.  22-3  ;  ann.  1455,  No.  43-7 ;  ann. 
1456,  No.  129;  ann.  1498,  No.  7-8 ;  ann.  1499,  No.  18-20.  — Chron.  Glassberger 
ann.  1426,  1430,  1501,  1517.— Theiner  Monument.  Hibern.  et  Scotor.  No.  801,  p. 
425,  No.  844,  p.  460. — ^En.  Sylvii  Opp.  inedd.  (Atti  della  Accadeinia  dei  Lincei. 
1883,  p.  546). — Chron.  Anon.  (Analecta  Franciscana  I.  291-2). 

The  bitterness  of  the  strife  between  the  two  branches  of  the  Order  is  illus- 
trated by  the  fact  that  the  Franciscan  Church  of  Palma,  in  Majorca,  when  struck 


17-1  THE   FRATICELLI. 

A  religious  revival  such  as  this  brought  into  service  a  class  of 
men  who  were  worthy  representatives  of  the  Peter  Martyrs  and 
Guillem  Arnauds  of  the  early  Inquisition.  Under  their  ruthless 
energy  the  Fraticelli  were  doomed  to  extinction.  The  troubles 
of  the  Great  Schism  had  allowed  the  heretics  to  flourish  almost 
unnoticed  and  unmolested,  but  after  the  Church  had  healed  its 
dissensions  at  Constance  and  had  entered  upon  a  new  and  vigor- 
ous life,  it  set  to  work  in  earnest  to  eradicate  them.  Hardly  had 
Martin  Y.  returned  to  Italy  from  Constance  when  he  issued  from 
Mantua,  November  14,  1418,  a  bull  in  which  he  deplores  the  in- 
crease of  the  abominable  sect  in  many  parts,  and  especially  in  the 
Roman  province.  Fortified  with  the  protection  of  the  temporal 
lords,  they  abuse  and  threaten  the  bishops  and  inquisitors  who  at- 
tempt to  repress  them.  The  bishops  and  inquisitors  are  there- 
fore instructed  to  proceed  against  them  vigorously,  without  re- 
gard to  limits  of  jurisdiction,  and  to  prosecute  their  protectors, 
even  if  the  latter  are  of  episcopal  or  regal  dignity,  which  suffi- 
ciently indicates  that  the  Fraticelli  had  found  favor  with  those  of 
highest  rank  in  both  Church  and  State.  This  accomplished  little, 
for  in  a  subsequent  bull  of  1421  Martin  alludes  to  the  continued 
increase  of  the  heresy,  and  tries  the  expedient  of  appointing  the 


by  lightning  and  partially  ruined  in  1480,  remained  on  this  account  unrepaired 
for  nearly  a  hundred  years,  until  the  Observantines  got  the  better  of  their  rivals 
and  obtained  possession  of  it. — Dameto,  Pro  y  Bover,  Hist,  de  Mallorca,  II.  1064-5 
(Palma,  1841).  It  is  related  that  when  Sixtus  IV.,  who  had  been  a  Conventual, 
proposed  in  1477  to  subject  the  Observantines  to  their  rivals,  the  blessed  Gia- 
como  della  Marca  threatened  him  with  an  evil  death,  and  he  desisted. — (Chron. 
Glassberger  ann.  1477). 

The  exceeding  laxity  prevailing  among  the  Conventuals  is  indicated  by  let- 
ters granted  in  1421  by  the  Franciscan  general,  Antonius  dc  Perreto,  to  Friar 
Liebhardt  Forschammer,  permitting  him  to  deposit  with  a  faithful  friend  all 
alms  given  to  him,  and  to  expend  them  on  his  own  wants  or  for  the  benefit  of 
the  Order,  at  his  discretion ;  he  was  also  required  to  confess  only  four  times  a 
year. — (Chron.  Glassberger  ann.  1416).  The  General  Chapter  held  at  Forli  in 
1421  was  obliged  to  prohibit  the  brethren  from  trading  and  lending  money  on 
usury,  under  pain  of  imprisonment  and  confiscation. — (lb.  ann.  1421).  From  the 
Chapter  of  Ueberlingen,  held  in  1426.  we  learn  that  there  was  a  custom  by  which, 
for  a  sum  of  money  paid  down,  Franciscan  convents  would  enter  into  obligations 
to  pay  definite  stipends  to  individual  friars. — (lb.  ann.  1426).  In  fact,  the  efforts 
of  reform  at  this  period,  stimulated  by  the  rivalry  of  the  Observantines,  reveal 
how  utterly  oblivious  the  Order  had  become  of  all  the  prescriptions  of  the  Rule. 


FAILURE    OF    INQUISITION.  175 

Cardinals  of  Albano  and  Porto  as  special  commissioners  for  its 
suppression.  The  cardinals  proved  as  inefficient  as  their  prede- 
cessors. In  1423  the  General  Council  of  Siena  was  greatly  scan- 
dalized at  finding  that  at  Peniscola  there  was  a  heretic  pope  with 
his  college  of  cardinals,  apparently  flourishing  without  an  attempt 
at  concealment,  and  the  Gallican  nation  made  several  ineffectual 
efforts  to  induce  the  council  to  take  active  measures  against  the 
secular  authorities  under  whose  favor  these  scandals  were  allowed 
to  exist.  How  utterly  the  machinery  of  persecution  had  broken 
down  is  illustrated  by  the  case  of  three  Fraticelli  who  had  at  this 
period  been  detected  in  Florence — Bartolommeo  di  Matteo,  Gio- 
vanni di  Marino  of  Lucca,  and  Bartolommeo  di  Pietro  of  Pisa. 
Evidently  distrusting  the  Florentine  Inquisition,  which  was  Fran- 
ciscan, Martin  V.  specially  intrusted  the  matter  to  his  legates  then 
presiding  over  the  Council  of  Siena.  On  the  sudden  dissolution 
of  the  council  the  legates  returned  to  Eome,  except  the  Dominican 
General,  Leonardo  of  Florence,  who  went  to  Florence.  To  him, 
therefore,  Martin  wrote,  April  24,  1424,  empowering  him  to  ter- 
minate the  case  himself,  and  expressly  forbidding  the  Inquisitor 
of  Florence  from  taking  any  part  in  it.  In  September  of  the 
same  year  Martin  instructed  Piero,  Abbot  of  Kosacio,  his  rector  of 
the  Mark  of  Ancona,  to  extirpate  the  Fraticelli  existing  there,  and 
the  difficulty  of  the  undertaking  was  recognized  in  the  unwonted 
clemency  which  authorized  Piero  to  reconcile  even  those  who  had 
been  guilty  of  repeated  relapses.* 

Some  new  motive  force  was  evidently  required.  There  were 
laws  in  abundance  for  the  extermination  of  heresy,  and  an  elabo- 
rate organization  for  their  enforcement,  but  a  paralysis  seemed  to 
have  fallen  upon  it,  and  all  the  efforts  of  the  Holy  See  to  make  it 
do  its  duty  was  in  vain.  The  problem  was  solved  when,  in  1426, 
Martin  boldly  overslaughed  the  Inquisition  and  appointed  two 
Gbservantines  as  inquisitors,  without  limitation  of  districts  and 
with  power  to  appoint  deputies,  thus  rendering  them  supreme  over 
the  whole  of  Italy.  These  were  the  men  whom  we  have  so  often 
met  before  where  heresy  was  to  be  combated — San  Giovanni  cla 


*  Raynald.  ann.  1418,  No.  11 ;  ami.  1421,  No.  4 ;  ann.  1424,  No.  7.— Jo.  de  Ra- 
gusio  de  Init.  Basil.  Concil.  (Mon.  Cone.  Gen.  Stec.  XV.  T.  I.  pp.  30-1,  40,  55).— 
Ripoll  II.  645. 


176  THE   FRATICELLI. 

Capistrano,  and  the  blessed  Giacomo  da  Monteprandone,  gener- 
ally known  as  della  Marca — both  full  of  zeal  and  energy,  who  richly 
earned  their  respective  canonization  and  beatification  by  lifelong 
devotion  and  by  services  which  can  scarce  be  overestimated.  It 
is  true  that  Giacomo  was  commissioned  only  as  a  missionary,  to 
preach  to  the  heretics  and  reconcile  them,  but  the  difference  was 
practically  undiscoverable,  and  when,  a  quarter  of  a  century  later, 
he  fondly  looked  back  over  the  exploits  of  his  youth,  he  related 
with  pride  how  the  heretics  fled  from  before  his  face,  abandoned 
their  strongholds,  and  left  their  flocks  to  his  mercy.  Their  head- 
quarters seem  to  have  been  in  the  Mark  of  Ancona,  and  chiefly 
in  the  dioceses  of  Fabriano  and  Jesi.  There  the  new  inquisitors 
boldly  attacked  them.  There  was  no  resistance.  Such  of  the 
teachers  as  could  do  so  sought  safety  in  flight,  and  the  fate  of  the 
rest  may  be  guessed  from  the  instructions  of  Martin  in  1128  to 
Astorgio,  Bishop  of  Ancona,  his  lieutenant  in  the  Mark,  with  re- 
spect to  the  village  of  Magnalata.  As  it  hacl  been  a  receptacle  of 
heretics,  it  is  to  be  levelled  with  the  earth,  never  to  be  rebuilt. 
Stubborn  heretics  are  to  be  dealt  with  according  to  the  law — that 
is,  of  course,  to  be  burned,  as  Giacomo  della  Marca  tells  us  was  the 
case  with  many  of  them.  Those  who  repent  may  be  reconciled, 
but  their  leaders  are  to  be  imprisoned  for  life,  and  are  to  be  tort- 
ured, if  necessary,  to  force  them  to  reveal  the  names  of  their  fel- 
lows elsewhere.  The  simple  folk  who  have  been  misled  are  to  be 
scattered  around  in  the  vicinage  where  they  can  cultivate  their 
lands,  and  are  to  be  recompensed  by  dividing  among  them  the 
property  confiscated  from  the  rest.  The  children  of  heretic  parents 
are  to  be  taken  away  and  sent  to  a  distance,  where  they  can  be 
brought  up  in  the  faith.  Heretic  books  are  to  be  diligently 
searched  for  throughout  the  province ;  and  all  magistrates  and 
communities  are  to  be  warned  that  any  favor  or  protection  shown 
to  heretics  will  be  visited  with  forfeiture  of  municipal  rights." 

Such  measures  ought  to  have  been  effective,  as  well  as  the  de- 
vice of  Capistrano,  who,  after  driving  the  Fraticelli  out  of  Massacio 
and  Palestrina,  founded  Observantine  houses  there  to  serve  as 
citadels  of  the  faith,  but  the  heretics  were  stubborn  and  enduring. 


*  Wadding,  ann.  1426,  No.  1-4. — Raynald.  arm.  1428,  No.  7.— Jac.  tie  Marchia 
Dial.  (Baluz.  et  Mansi  II.  597,  609). 


CAPISTRANO    AND    DELLA    MARCA.  177 

"When  Eugenius  IV.  succeeded  to  the  papacy  he  renewed  Capis- 
trano's  commission  in  1432  as  a  general  inquisitor  against  the 
Fraticelli.  We  have  no  details  of  his  activity  during  this  period, 
but  he  was  doubtless  busily  employed,  though  he  was  deprived  of 
the  assistance  of  Giacomo,  who  until  1440  was,  as  we  have  seen,  at 
work  among  the  Cathari  of  Bosnia  and  the  Hussites  of  Hungary. 
The  Fraticelli  of  Ancona  were  still  troublesome,  for,  on  his  return 
from  Asia  in  1441,  Giacomo  was  sent  thither  as  special  inquis- 
itor for  their  suppression.  When,  in  1447,  Nicholas  V.  ascended 
the  papal  throne,  he  made  haste  to  renew  Capistrano's  commis- 
sion, and  in  1449  a  combined  attack  was  made  on  the  heretics  of 
the  Mark,  possibly  stimulated  by  the  capture,  in  his  own  court,  of 
a  bishop  of  the  Fraticelli  named  Matteo,  disguised  in  a  Franciscan 
habit.  Nicholas  himself  went  to  Fabriano,  while  Capistrano  and 
Giacomo  scoured  the  country.  Magnalata  had  been  rebuilt  in 
spite  of  the  prohibition,  and  it,  with  Migliorotta,  Poggio,  and 
Merulo,  was  brought  back  to  the  faith,  by  what  means  we  can 
well  guess.  Giacomo  boasts  that  the  heretics  gave  five  hundred 
ducats  to  a  bravo  to  slay  Capistrano,  and  on  one  occasion  two  hun- 
dred and  on  another  one  hundred  and  fifty  to  procure  his  own 
death,  but  the  assassins  in  each  case  were  touched  with  compunc- 
tion and  came  in  and  made  confession — doubtless  a  profitable 
revelation  for  sharpers  to  make,  for  no  one  acquainted  with  Italian 
society  at  that  period  can  imagine  that  such  sums  would  not  have 
effected  their  object.  The  inquisitors,  however,  were  specially 
protected  by  Heaven.  Capistrano's  legend  relates  that  on  one 
occasion  the  heretics  waited  for  him  in  ambush.  His  companions 
passed  in  safety,  and  when  he  followed  alone,  absorbed  in  medita- 
tion and  prayer,  a  sudden  whirlwind,  with  torrents  of  rain,  kept 
his  assailants  in  their  lair,  and  he  escaped.  Giacomo  was  similarly 
divinely  guarded.  At  Matelica  a  heretic  concealed  himself  in  a 
chapel  of  the  Virgin  to  assail  the  inquisitor  as  he  passed,  but  the 
Virgin  appeared  to  him  with  threats  so  terrible  that  he  fell  to  the 
ground  and  lay  there  till  the  neighbors  carried  him  to  a  hospital, 
and  it  was  three  months  before  he  was  able  to  seek  Giacomo  at 
Fermo  and  abjure.* 

*  Wadding,  ann.  1426,  No.  15-16  ;  Regest.  Mart.  V.  No.  162  ;  ann.  1432,  No. 
8-9;   ann.  1441,  No.  37-8;   ann.  1447,  No.  10;  ann.  1456,  No.  108;  ann.  1470, 
'  III.— 12 


178  THE    FRATICELLI. 

The  unlucky  captives  were  brought  before  Nicholas  at  Fabri- 
ano  and  burned.  Giacomo  tells  us  that  the  stench  lasted  for  three 
days  and  extended  as  far  as  the  convent  in  which  he  was  staying. 
He  exerted  himself  to  save  the  souls  of  those  whose  bodies  were 
forfeit  by  reason  of  relapse,  and  succeeded  in  all  cases  but  one. 
This  hardened  heretic  was  the  treasurer  of  the  sect,  named  Chiuso. 
He  refused  to  recant,  and  would  not  call  upon  God  or  the  Virgin 
or  the  saints  for  aid,  but  simply  said  "  Fire  will  not  burn  me." 
His  endurance  was  tested  to  the  utmost.  For  three  days  he  was 
burned  piecemeal  at  intervals,  but  his  resolution  never  gave  way, 
and  at  last  he  expired  impenitent,  in  spite  of  the  kindly  efforts  to 
torture  him  to  heaven.* 

After  this  Ave  hear  little  of  the  Fraticelli,  although  the  sect 
still  continued  to  exist  for  a  while  in  secret.  In  1467  Paul  II.  con- 
verted a  number  of  them  who  were  brought  from  Poli  to  Rome. 
Eight  men  and  six  women,  with  paper  mitres  on  their  heads,  were 
exposed  to  the  jeers  of  the  populace  on  a  high  scaffold  at  the  Ara- 
cceli,  while  the  papal  vicar  and  five  bishops  preached  for  their 
conversion.  Their  penance  consisted  in  imprisonment  in  the  Cam- 
pidoglio,  and  in  wearing  a  long  robe  bearing  a  white  cross  on 
breast  and  back.  It  was  probably  on  this  occasion  that  Rodrigo 
Sanchez,  a  favorite  of  Paul's,  and  subsequently  Bishop  of  Palencia, 
wrote  a  treatise  on  the  poverty  of  Christ,  in  which  he  proved  that 
ecclesiastics  led  apostolic  lives  in  the  midst  of  their  possessions. 
In  1471  Fra  Tommaso  di  Scarlino  was  sent  to  Piombino  and  the 
maritime  parts  of  Tuscany  to  drive  out  some  Fraticelli  who  had 
been  discovered  there.  This  is  the  last  allusion  to  them  that  I  have 
met  with,  and  thereafter  they  may  be  considered  as  virtually  ex- 
tinct. That  they  soon  passed  completely  out  of  notice  may  be 
inferred  from  the  fact  that  in  1487,  when  the  Spanish  Inquisition 
persecuted  some  Observantines,  Innocent  VIII.  issued  a  general 
order  that  any  Franciscans  imprisoned  by  Dominican  inquisitors 
should  be  handed  over  for  trial  to  their  own  superiors,  and  that  no 
such  prosecutions  should  be  thereafter  undertaken.f 


No.  24-5. — Raynald.  ann.  1432,  No.  24. — Jac.  de  Marchia  Dial.  (Baluz.  et  Mansi 
II.  610). 

*  Jac.  de  Marchia  1.  c. 

t  Steph.  Infessurae  Diar.  Urb.  Rom.  ann.  1467  (Eccard.  Corp.  Hist.  II.  1803).— 


REPLACED    BY    OBSER V ANTINES.  179 

The  Observantine  movement  may  be  credited  with  the  destruc- 
tion of  the  Fraticelli,  not  so  much  by  furnishing  the  men  and  the 
zeal  required  for  their  violent  suppression  as  by  supplying  an  or- 
ganization in  which  ascetic  longings  could  be  safely  gratified,  and 
by  attracting  to  themselves  the  popular  veneration  which  had  so 
long  served  as  a  safeguard  to  the  heretics.  When  we  read  of 
Capistrano's  reputation  among  his  countrymen — how  in  Yicenza, 
in  1451,  the  authorities  had  to  shut  the  city  gates  to  keep  out  the 
influx  of  surging  crowds,  and  when  he  walked  the  streets  he  had 
to  be  accompanied  by  a  guard  of  Frati  to  keep  off  the  people  seek- 
ing to  touch  him  with  sticks  or  to  secure  a  fragment  of  his  gar- 
ment as  a  relic  ;  how  in  Florence,  in  1456,  an  armed  guard  was 
requisite  to  prevent  his  suffocation — we  can  realize  the  tremendous 
influence  exercised  by  him  and  his  fellows  in  diverting  the  current 
of  public  opinion  to  the  Church  which  they  represented.  Like  the 
Mendicants  of  the  thirteenth  century,  they  restored  to  it  much  of 
the  reverence  which  it  had  forfeited,  in  spite  of  the  relaxation  and 
self-indulgence  to  which,  if  Poggio  is  to  be  believed,  many  of  them 
speedily  degenerated.* 

'Not  less  effective  was  the  refuge  which  the  Observantines  af- 
forded to  those  whose  morbid  tendencies  led  them  to  seek  super- 
human austerity.  The  Church  having  at  last  recognized  the  ne- 
cessity of  furnishing  an  outlet  for  these  tendencies,  as  the  old 
Fraticelli  died  or  were  burned  there  were  none  to  take  their  place, 
and  the  sect  disappears  from  view  without  leaving  a  trace  behind 
it.  Ascetic  zeal  must  indeed  have  been  intense  when  it  could  not 
be  satiated  by  such  a  life  as  that  of  Lorenzo  da  Fermo,  who  died 
in  1481  at  the  age  of  one  hundred  and  ten,  after  passing  ninety 
years  with  the  Observantines.  For  forty  of  these  years  he  lived 
on  Mont  Alverno,  wearing  neither  cowl  nor  sandals — bareheaded 
and  barefooted  in  the  severest  weather,  and  with  the  thinnest  gar- 
ments. If  there  were  natures  which  craved  more  than  this,  the 
Church  had  learned  either  to  utilize  or  to  control  them.  Thus  was 
organized  the  Order  of  the  Strict  Observance,  better  known  as  the 


Platinse  Vit.  Pauli  II.  (Ed.  1574,  p.  308).— Rod.  Santii  Hist.  Hispan.  P.  in.  c.  40 
(R.  Beli  Rer.  Hisp.  Scriptt.  I.  433).— Wadding,  aim.  1371,  No.  14.^-Ripoll  IV.  22. 
*  Barbarano  de'  Mironi,  Hist,  di  Vicenza,  II.  164-5.— Poggii  Bracciol.  Dial, 
contra  Hypocrisim. 


180  THE  FRATICELLI. 

Recollects.  The  Conde  de  Sotomayor,  of  the  noblest  blood  of 
Spain,  had  entered  the  Franciscan  Order,  and,  becoming  dissatisfied 
with  its  laxity,  obtained  from  Innocent  VIII.,  in  1487,  authority 
to  found  a  reformed  branch,  which  he  established  in  the  wilds  of 
the  Sierra  Morena.  In  spite  of  the  angry  opposition  of  both  Con- 
ventuals and  Observantines,  it  proved  successful  and  spread  per- 
manently through  France  and  Italy.  An  irregular  and  unfortu- 
nate effort  in  the  same  direction  was  made  not  long  after  by 
Matteo  da  Tivoli,  a  Franciscan  whose  thirst  for  supreme  asceticism 
had  led  him  to  adopt  the  life  of  a  hermit,  with  about  eighty  fol- 
lowers, in  the  Roman  province.  They  threw  off  all  obedience  to 
the  Order,  under  the  influence  of  Satan,  who  appeared  to  Matteo 
in  the  guise  of  Christ.  He  was  seized  and  imprisoned,  and  com- 
menced to  doubt  the  reality  of  his  mission,  when  another  vision 
confirmed  him.  He  succeeded  in  escaping  with  a  comrade,  and 
lived  in  caves  among  the  mountains  with  numerous  disciples, 
illuminated  by  God  and  gifted  with  miraculous  power.  He  organ- 
ized his  followers  into  an  independent  Order,  with  general,  provin- 
cials, and  guardians,  but  the  Church  succeeded  in  breaking  it  up 
in  1495,  Matteo  finally  returning  to  the  Conventuals,  while  most 
of  his  disciples  entered  the  Observantines.  - 

In  reviewing  this  history  of  the  morbid  aberrations  of  lofty 
impulses,  it  is  impossible  not  to  recognize  how  much  the  Church 
lost  in  vitality,  and  how  much  causeless  suffering  was  inflicted  by 
the  theological  arrogance  and  obstinate  perversity  of  John  XXII. 
With  tact  and  discretion  the  zeal  of  the  Fraticelli  could  have  been 
utilized,  as  was  subsequently  that  of  the  Observantines.  The 
ceaseless  quarrels  of  the  Conventuals  with  the  latter  explain  the 
persecutions  endured  by  the  Spirituals  and  the  Fraticelli.  Paoluc- 
cio  was  fortunate  in  finding  men  high  in  station  who  were  wise 
enough  to  protect  his  infant  organization  until  it  had  demonstrated 
its  usefulness  and  was  able  to  defend  itself,  but  there  never  was 
a  time,  even  when  it  was  the  most  useful  weapon  in  the  hands  of 
the  Holy  See,  when  the  Conventuals  would  not,  had  they  been 
able,  have  treated  it  as  inhumanly  as  they  had  treated  the  follow- 
ers  of  Angelo  and  Olivi  and  Michele  da  Cesena. 


*  Wadding,  ann.  1481,  No.  9  ;  ami.  1487,  No.  3-5  ;  aim.  1495,  No.  12.— Addis 
and  Arnold's  Catholic  Dictionary,  s.  v.  Recollects. 


CHAPTER  IY. 

POLITICAL   HERESY    UTILIZED   BY   THE   CHURCH. 

The  identification  of  the  cause  of  the  Church  with  that  of 
God  was  no  new  thing.  Long  before  the  formulation  of  laws 
against  heresy  and  the  organization  of  the  Inquisition  for  its  sup- 
pression, the  advantage  had  been  recognized  of  denouncing  as  her- 
etics all  who  refused  obedience  to  the  demands  of  prelate  and  pope. 
In  the  quarrel  between  the  empire  and  papacy  over  the  question 
of  the  investitures,  the  Council  of  Lateran,  in  1102,  required  all 
the  bishops  in  attendance  to  subscribe  a  declaration  anathematizing 
the  new  heresy  of  disregarding  the  papal  anathema,  and  though 
the  Church  as  yet  was  by  no  means  determined  on  the  death-pen- 
alty for  ordinary  heresy,  it  had  no  hesitation  as  to  the  punishment 
due  to  the  imperialists  who  maintained  the  traditional  rights  of 
the  empire  against  its  new  pretensions.  In  that  same  year  the 
monk  Sigebert,  who  was  by  no  means  a  follower  of  the  antipope 
Alberto,  was  scandalized  at  the  savage  cruelty  of  Paschal  II.  in 
exhorting  his  adherents  to  the  slaughter  of  all  the  subjects  of 
Henry  IY.  Robert  the  Hierosolymitan  of  Flanders,  on  his  re- 
turn from  the  first  crusade,  had  taken  up  arms  against  Henry  IY. 
and  had  signalized  his  devotion  by  depopulating  the  Cambresis, 
whereupon  Paschal  wrote  to  him  with  enthusiastic  praises  of  this 
good  work,  urging  him  to  continue  it  as  quite  as  pious  as  his  labors 
to  recover  the  Holy  Sepulchre,  and  promising  remission  of  sins  to 
him  and  to  all  his  ruthless  soldiery.  Paschal  himself  became  a 
heretic  when,  in  1111,  yielding  to  the  violence  of  Henry  Y.,  he  con- 
ceded the  imperial  right  of  investiture  of  bishops  and  abbots,  al- 
though when  Bruno,  Bishop  of  Segni  and  Abbot  of  Monte  Casino, 
boldly  proved  his  heresy  to  his  face,  he  deprived  the  audacious 
reasoner  of  the  abbacy  and  sent  him  back  to  his  see.  In  his  set- 
tlement with  Henry,  he  had  broken  a  consecrated  host,  each  tak- 


182  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE    CHURCH. 

ing  half,  and  had  solemnly  said,  "  Even  as  this  body  of  Christ  is 
divided,  so  let  him  be  divided  from  the  kingdom  of  Christ  who 
shall  attempt  to  violate  our  compact ;"  but  the  stigma  of  heresy 
was  unendurable,  and  in  1112  he  presided  over  the  Council  of 
Lateran,  which  pronounced  void  his  oath  and  his  bulls.  AVhen 
Henry  complained  that  he  had  violated  his  oath,  he  coolly  replied 
that  he  had  promised  not  to  excommunicate  Henry,  but  not  that 
he  should  not  be  excommunicated  by  others.  If  Paschal  was  not 
forced  literally  to  abjure  his  heresy  he  did  so  constructively,  and 
the  principle  was  established  that  even  a  pope  could  not  abandon 
a  claim  of  which  the  denial  had  been  pronounced  heretical.  When, 
not  long  afterwards,  the  German  prelates  were  required  at  their 
consecration  to  abjure  ail  heresy,  and  especially  the  Henrician,  the 
allusion  was  not  to  the  errors  of  Henry  of  Lausanne,  but  to  those 
of  the  emperor  who  had  sought  to  limit  the  encroachments  of  the 
Holy  See  on  the  temporal  power.* 

As  heresy,  rightly  so  called,  waxed  and  grew  more  and  more 
threatening,  and  the  struggle  for  its  suppression  increased  in  bit- 
terness and  took  an  organized  shape  under  a  formidable  body  of 
legislation,  and  as  the  application  of  the  theory  of  indulgences  gave 
to  the  Church  an  armed  militia  ready  for  mobilization  without 
cost  whenever  it  chose  to  proclaim  danger  to  the  faith,  the  tempta- 
tion to  invoke  the  fanaticism  of  Christendom  for  the  defence  or 
extension  of  its  temporal  interests  inevitably  increased  in  strength. 
In  so  far  as  such  a  resort  can  be  justified,  the  Albigensian  cru- 
sades were  justified  by  a  real  antagonism  of  faith  which  fore- 
boded a  division  of  Christianity,  and  their  success  irresistibly  led 
to  the  application  of  the  same  means  to  cases  in  which  there  was 
not  the  semblance  of  a  similar  excuse.  Of  these  one  of  the  earli- 
est, as  well  as  one  of  the  most  typical,  was  that  of  the  Stedingers. 

The  Stedingers  were  a  mixed  race  who  had  colonized  on  the 
lower  Weser  the  lands  which  their  industry  won  from  the  over- 
flow of  river  and  sea,  their  territory  extending  southward  to  the 
neighborhood  of  Bremen.  A  rough  and  semi-barbarous  folk,  no 
doubt — hardy  herdsmen  and  fishermen,  with  perhaps  an  occasional 


*  Concil.  Later.m  ann.  1102  (Harduin.  VI.  n.  1861-2).— Epist,  Sigebert.  (Mart. 
Ampl.  Coll.  I.  587-94).— -Chron.  Cassinens.  iv.  42,  44.  (Cf.  Martene  Ampl.  Coll.  I. 
627.)— Hartzheim  III.  258-65.— Martene  Ampl.  Coll.  I.  659. 


THE    STEDINGERS.  183 

tendency  to  piracy  in  the  ages  which  celebrated  the  exploits  of 
the  Vikings  of  Jomsburg.     They  were  freemen  under  the  spiritual 
care  of  the  Archbishops  of  Bremen,  who  in  return  enjoyed  their 
tithes.     This  tithe  question  had  been  immemorially  a  troublesome 
one,  ever  since  a  tincture  of  Christianity  had  overspread  those  re- 
gions.    In  the  eleventh  century  Adam  of  Bremen  tells  us  that 
throughout  the  archiepiscopate  the  bishops  sold  their  benedictions 
and  the  people  were  not  only  abandoned  to  lust  and  gluttony,  but 
refused  to  pay  their  tithes.     The  Stedingers  were  governed  by 
judges  of  their  own  choice,  administering  their  own  laws,  until, 
about  1187,  trouble  arose  from  the  attempts  of  the  Counts  of  Old- 
enburg to  extend  their  authority  over  the  redeemed  marshes  and 
islands,  by  building  a  castle  or  two  which  should  keep  the  popula- 
tion in  check.     There  were  few  churches,  and,  as  the  parishes  were 
large,  the  matrons  were  accustomed  to  carry  their  daughters  to 
mass  in  wagons.     The  garrisons  were  in  the  habit  of  sallying 
forth  and  seizing  these  women  to  solace  their  solitude,  till  the  peo- 
ple arose,  captured  the  castles,  slew  the  garrisons,  and  dug  a  ditch 
across  a  neck  of  their  territory,  leaving  only  one  gate  for  entrance. 
John  Count  of  Oldenburg  recovered  his  castles,  but  after  his  death 
the  Stedingers  reasserted  their  independence.     Among  their  rights 
they  included  the  non-payment  of  tithes,  and  they  treated  with 
contumely  the  priests   sent  to  compel  their  obedience.     They 
strengthened  their  defences,  and  their  freedom  from  feudal  and 
ecclesiastical  tyranny  attracted  to  them  refugees  from  all  the 
neighboring  lands.     Hartwig,  Archbishop  of  Bremen,  when  on  his 
way  to  the  Holy  Land  in  1197,  is  said  to  have  asked  Celestin  III. 
to  preach  a  crusade  against  them  as  heretics,  but  this  is  evidently 
an  error,  for  the  Albigensian  wars  had  not  as  yet  suggested  the 
employment  of  such  methods.     Matters  became  more  embroiled 
when  some  monks  who  ventured  to  inculcate  upon  the  peasants 
the  duty  of  tithe-paying  were  martyred.     Still  worse  was  it  when 
a  priest,  irritated  at  the  smallness  of  an  oblation  offered  at  Easter 
by  a  woman  of  condition,  in  derision  slipped  into  her  mouth  the 
coin  in  place  of  the  Eucharist.     Unable  to  swallow  it,  and  fearing 
to  commit  sacrilege,  the  woman  kept  it  in  her  mouth  till  her  re- 
turn home,  when  she  ejected  it  in  some  clean  linen  and  discovered 
the  trick.     Enraged  at  this  insult  her  husband  slew  the  priest,  and 
thus  increased  the  general  ferment.     After  his  return  Hartwig  en- 


1S4  POLITICAL    HERESY.  — THE    CHURCH. 

deavored,  in  1207,  to  reduce  the  recalcitrant  population,  but  with- 
out success,  except  to  get  some  money.  * 

Yet  the  Stedingers  were  welcomed  as  fullv  orthodox  when 
their  aid  was  wanted  in  the  struggle  which  raged  from  1208  till 
1217,  between  the  rival  archbishops  of  Bremen,  first  between 
Waldemar  and  Burchard,  and  then  between  TYaldemar  and  Ger- 
hardt.  Banged  at  first  on  the  side  of  'Waldemar,  after  the  triumph 
of  Frederic  II.  over  Otho  their  defection  to  Gerhardt  was  decisive, 
and  in  1217  the  latter  obtained  his  archiepiscopal  seat,  where  he 
held  his  allies  in  high  favor  until  his  death  in  1219.  He  was  suc- 
ceeded by  Gerhardt  II.,  of  the  House  of  Lippe,  a  warlike  prelate 
who  endeavored  to  overthrow  the  liberties  of  Bremen  itself,  and 
to  levy  tolls  on  all  the  commerce  of  the  Weser.  The  Stedinger 
tithes  were  not  likely  to  escape  his  attention.  Other  distractions, 
including  a  war  with  the  King  of  Denmark  and  strife  with  the 
recalcitrant  citizens  of  Bremen,  prevented  any  immediate  effort  to 
subjugate  the  Stedingers,  but  at  length  his  hands  were  free.  His 
brother,  Hermann  Count  of  Lippe,  came  to  his  assistance  with 
other  nobles,  for  the  independence  of  the  Weser  peasant-folk  was 
of  evil  import  to  the  neighboring  feudal  lords.  To  take  advantage 
of  the  ice  in  those  watery  regions  the  expedition  set  forth  in  De- 
cember, 1229,  under  the  leadership  of  the  count  and  the  archbishop. 
The  Stedingers  resisted  valiantly.  On  Christmas  Day  a  battle  was 
fought  in  which  Count  Hermann  was  slain  and  the  crusaders  put 
to  flight.  To  celebrate  the  triumph  the  victors  in  derision  ap- 
pointed mock  officials,  styling  one  emperor,  another  pope,  and 
others  archbishops  and  bishops,  and  these  issued  letters  under  these 
titles — a  sorry  jest,  which  when  duly  magnified  represented  them 
as  rebels  against  all  temporal  and  spiritual  authority.  + 

*  Schumacher,  Die  Stedinger,  Bremen,  1865,  pp.  26-8. — Adam.  Bremens.  Gest. 
Pontif.  Hammaburg.  c.  203. — Chron.  Erfordiens.  ami.  1230  (Schannat  Vindem. 
Litt.  I.  93).— Chron.  Rastedens.  (Meibom.  Rer.  Germ.  II.  101).— Albert.  Stadens. 
Chron.  ann.  1207  (Schilt  S.  R.  Germ. I.  299).— Joan.  Otton.  Cat.  Archiepp.  Bremens. 
ann.  1207  (Menken.  S.  R.  Germ.  II.  791). 

f  Albert.  Stadens.  Chron.  ann.  1208-17,  1230.— Joan.  Otton.  Cat.  Archiepp. 
Bremens.  ann.  1211-20. — Anon.  Saxon.  Hist.  Impp.  ann.  1229  (Menken.  III. 
125).— Chron.  Rastedens.  (Meibom.  II.  101). 

There  is  considerable  confusion  among  the  authorities  with  regard  to  these 
events.  I  have  followed  the  careful  investigations  of  Schumacher,  op.  cit.  pp. 
219-23. 


THE    STEDINGERS.  Ig5 

It  was  evident  that  some  more  potent  means  must  be  found  to 
overcome  the  indomitable  peasantry,  and  the  device  adopted  was 
suggested  by  the  success,  in  1230,  of  the  crusade  preached  by  Wil- 
brand,  Bishop  of  Utrecht,  against  the  free  Frisians  in  revenge  for 
their  slaying  his  predecessor  Otho,  a  brother  of  Archbishop  Ger- 
hardt,  and  imprisoning  his  other  brother,  Dietrich,  Provost  of 
Deventer,  after  their  victory  of  Coevorden.  It  was  scarce  pos- 
sible not  to  follow  this  example.  At  a  synod  held  in  Bremen  in 
1230,  the  Stedingers  were  put  to  the  ban  as  the  vilest  of  heretics, 
who  treated  the  Eucharist  with  contempt  too  horrible  for  descrip- 
tion, who  sought  responses  from  wise-women,  made  waxen  images, 
and  wrought  many  other  works  of  darkness.* 

Doubtless  there  were  remnants  of  pagan  superstition  in  Steding, 
such  as  we  shall  hereafter  see  existing  throughout  many  parts  of 
Christendom,  which  served  as.  a  foundation  for  these  accusations, 
but  that  in  fact  there  were  no  religious  principles  involved,  and 
that  the  questions  at  issue  were  purely  political,  is  indicated  by  the 
praise  which  Frederic  II.,  in  an  epistle  dated  June  14, 1230,  bestows 
on  the  Stedingers  for  the  aid  which  they  had  rendered  to  a  house 
of  the  Teutonic  Knights,  and  his  exhortation  that  they  should  con- 
tinue to  protect  it.  We  learn,  moreover,  that  everywhere  the  peas- 
antry openly  favored  them  and  joined  them  when  opportunity  per- 
mitted. It  was  simply  an  episode  in  the  extension  of  feudalism  and 
sacerdotalism.  The  scattered  remains  of  the  old  Teutonic  tribal  in- 
dependence were  to  be  crushed,  and  the  combined  powers  of  Church 
and  State  were  summoned  to  the  task.  How  readily  such  accusa- 
tions could  be  imposed  on  the  credulity  of  the  people  we  have  seen 
from  the  operations  of  Conrad  of  Marburg,  and  the  stories  to  which 
he  gave  currency  of  far-pervading  secret  rites  of  demon-worship. 
Yet  the  preliminaries  of  a  crusade  consumed  time,  and  during  1231 
and  1232  Archbishop  Gerhardt  had  all  he  could  do  to  withstand 
the  assaults  of  the  victorious  peasants,  who  twice  captured  and  de- 
stroyed the  castle  of  Schlatter,  which  he  had  rebuilt  to  protect  his 
territories  from  their  incursions  ;  he  sought  support  in  Rome,  and  in 
October,  1232,  after  ordering  an  investigation  of  the  heresy  by  the 
Bishops  of  Lubeck,  Ratzeburg,  and  Minden,  Gregory  IX.  came  to 


*  Emonis  Chron.  ann.  1227,  1230  (Matthaei  Analecta  III.  128,  132).— Schu- 
macher, p.  81. 


186  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE    CHURCH. 

his  aid  with  bulls  addressed  to  the  Bishops  of  Minden,  Lubeck,  and 
Yerden,  ordering  them  to  preach  the  cross  against  the  rebels.  In 
these  there  is  nothing  said  about  tithes,  but  the  Stedingers  are  de- 
scribed as  heretics  of  the  worst  description,  who  deny  God,  wor- 
ship demons,  consult  seeresses,  abuse  the  sacrament,  make  wax 
figurines  to  destroy  their  enemies,  and  commit  the  foulest  excesses 
on  the  clergy,  sometimes  nailing  priests  to  the  wall  with  arms  and 
legs  spread  out,  in  derision  of  the  Crucified.  Gregory's  long  pon- 
tificate was  devoted  to  two  paramount  objects — the  destruction  of 
Frederic  II.  and  the  suppression  of  heresy.  The  very  name  of 
heretic  seemed  to  awake  in  him  a  wrath  which  deprived  him  of  all 
reasoning  powers,  and  he  threw  himself  into  the  contest  with  the 
unhappy  peasants  of  the  Weser  marshes  as  unreservedly  as  he  did 
into  that  which  Conrad  of  Marburg  was  contemporaneously  wag- 
ing with  the  powers  of  darkness  in  the  Rhinelands.  In  January, 
1233,  he  wrote  to  the  Bishops  of  Paderborn,  Hildesheim,  Yerden, 
Miinster,  and  Osnabriick,  ordering  them  to  assist  their  brethren  of 
Ratzeburg,  Minden,  and  Lubeck,  whom  he  had  commissioned  to 
preach  a  crusade,  with  full  pardons,  against  the  heretics  called 
Stedingers,  who  were  destroying  the  faithful  people  of  those  re- 
gions. An  army  had  meanwhile  been  collected  which  accom- 
plished nothing  during  the  winter  against  the  steadfast  resolution 
of  the  peasants,  and  dispersed  on  the  expiration  of  its  short  term 
of  service.  In  a  papal  epistle  of  June  17, 1233,  to  the  Bishops  of 
Minden,  Lubeck,  and  Ratzeburg,  this  lack  of  success  is  represented 
as  resulting  from  a  mistaken  belief  on  the  part  of  the  crusaders 
that  they  were  not  getting  the  same  indulgences  as  those  granted 
for  the  Holy  Land,  leading  them  to  withdraw  after  gaining  decisive 
advantages.  The  bishops  are  therefore  ordered  to  preach  a  new 
crusade  in  which  there  shall  be  no  error  as  to  the  pardons  to  be 
earned,  unless  meanwhile  the  Stedingers  shall  submit  to  the  arch- 
bishop and  abandon  their  heresies.  Already,  however,  another 
band  of  crusaders  had  been  organized,  which,  towards  the  end  of 
June,  1233,  penetrated  eastern  Steding,  on  the  right  bank  of  the 
Weser.  This  district  had  hitherto  kept  aloof  from  the  strife,  and 
was  defenceless.  The  crusaders  devastated  the  land  with  fire  and 
sword,  slaying  without  distinction  of  age  or  sex,  and  manifesting 
their  religious  zeal  by  burning  all  the  men  who  were  captured. 
The  crusade  came  to  an  inglorious  end,  however ;  for,  encouraged 


THE    STEDINGERS.  1ST 

by  its  easy  success,  Count  Burchard  of  Oldenburg,  its  leader,  was 
emboldened  to  attack  the  fortified  lands  on  the  west  bank,  when  he 
and  some  two  hundred  crusaders  were  slain  and  the  rest  were 
glad  to  escape  with  their  lives.* 

Matters  were  evidently  growing  serious.  The  success  of  the 
Stedingers  in  battling  for  the  maintenance  of  their  independence 
was  awakening  an  uneasy  feeling  among  the  populations,  and  the 
feudal  nobles  were  no  less  interested  than  the  prelates  in  sub- 
duing what  might  prove  to  be  the  nucleus  of  a  dangerous  and  far- 
reaching  revolt.  The  third  crusade  was  therefore  preached  with 
additional  energy  over  a  wider  circle  than  before,  and  prepara- 
tions were  made  for  an  expedition  in  1234  on  a  scale  to  crush  all 
resistance.  Dominicans  spread  like  a  cloud  over  Holland,  Flan- 
ders, Brabant,  Westphalia,  and  the  Rhinelands,  summoning  the 
faithful  to  defend  religion.  In  Friesland  they  had  little  success, 
for  the  population  sympathized  with  their  kindred  and  were 
rather  disposed  to  maltreat  the  preachers,  but  elsewhere  their 
labors  were  abundantly  rewarded.  Bulls  of  February  11  take  un- 
der papal  protection  the  territories  of  Henry  Baspe  of  Thuringia, 
and  Otho  of  Brunswick,  who  had  assumed  the  cross — the  latter, 
however,  only  with  a  view  to  self-protection,  for  he  was  an  enemy 
of  Archbishop  Gerhardt.  The  heaviest  contingent  came  from  the 
west,  under  Hendrik,  Duke  of  Brabant,  consisting,  it  is  said,  of 
forty  thousand  men  led  by  the  preux  chevalier,  Florent,  Count  of 
Holland,  together  with  Thierry,  Count  of  Cleves,  Arnoul  of  Oude- 
narde,  Rasso  of  Gavres,  Thierry  of  Dixmunde,  Gilbert  of  Zotte- 
ghem,  and  other  nobles,  eager  to  earn  salvation  and  preserve  their 
feudal  rights.  Three  hundred  ships  from  Holland  gave  assurance 
that  the  maritime  part  of  the  expedition  should  not  be  lacking. 
Apparently  warned  by  the  disastrous  outcome  of  his  zeal  in  the 
affair  of  Conrad  of  Marburg,  Gregory  at  the  last  moment  seems 
to  have  felt  some  misgiving,  and  in  March,  1234,  sent  to  Bishop 
Guglielmo,  his  legate  in  North  Germany,  orders  to  endeavor  by 
peaceful  means  to  bring  about  the  reconciliation  of  the  peasants, 


*  Hist.  Diplom.  Frid.  II.  T.  IV.  p.  497.— Albert.  Stadens.  Chrou.  aim.  1232, 
1234.— Raynald.  ann.  1232,  No.  8.— Hartzheim  III.  553.— Joan.  Ottonis  Cat.  Ar- 
chiepp.  Bremens.  ann.  1234. — Anon.  Saxon.  Hist.  Imperator.  ann.  1220. — Chron. 
Cornel.  Zantfliet  ann.  1233.— Epistt.  Select.  Saecul.  XIII.  T.  I.  No.  539  (Pertz). 


188  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE    CHURCH. 

but  the  effort  came  too  late.  In  April  the  hosts  were  already  as- 
sembling, and  the  legate  did,  and  probably  could  do,  nothing  to 
avert  the  final  blow.  Overwhelming  as  was  the  force  of  the  cru- 
saders, the  handful  of  peasants  met  it  with  their  wonted  resolu- 
tion. At  Altenesch,  on  May  27,  they  made  their  stand  and  re- 
sisted with  stubborn  valor  the  onslaught  of  Hendrik  of  Brabant 
and  Florent  of  Holland ;  but,  in  the  vast  disparity  of  numbers, 
Thierry  of  Cleves  was  able  to  make  a  flank  attack  with  fresh 
troops  which  broke  their  ranks,  when  they  were  slaughtered  un- 
sparingly. Six  thousand  were  left  dead  upon  the  field,  besides 
those  drowned  in  the  Weser  in  the  vain  attempt  at  flight,  and  we 
are  asked  to  believe  that  the  divine  favor  was  manifested  in  that 
only  seven  of  the  crusaders  perished.  The  land  now  lay  defence- 
less before  the  soldiers  of  the  Lord,  who  improved  their  victory  by 
laying  it  waste  with  fire  and  sword,  sparing  neither  age  nor  sex. 
Six  centuries  later,  on  May  27,  1S34,  a  monument  was  solemnly 
dedicated  on  the  field  of  Altenesch  to  the  heroes  who  fell  in  des- 
perate defence  of  their  land  and  liberty.* 

Bald  as  was  the  pretence  for  this  frightful  tragedy,  the  Church 
assumed  all  the  responsibility  and  kept  up  the  transparent  fiction 
to  the  last.  When  the  slaughter  and  devastation  were  over,  came 
the  solemn  farce  of  reconciling  the  heretics.  As  the  land  had 
been  so  long  under  their  control,  their  dead  were  buried  indistin- 
guishable with  the  remains  of  the  orthodox,  so,  November  28, 
123-1,  Gregory  graciously  announced  that  the  necessity  of  exhu- 
mation would  be  waived  in  view  of  the  impossibility  of  separat- 
ing the  one  from  the  other,  but  that  all  cemeteries  must  be  conse- 
crated anew  to  overcome  the  pollution  of  the  heretic  bodies  within 
them.  Considerable  time  must  have  been  consumed  in  the  settle- 
ment of  all  details,  for  it  is  not  until  August,  1236,  that  Gregory 
writes  to  the  archbishop  that,  as  the  Stedingers  have  abandoned 
their  rebellion  and  humbly  supplicated  for  reconciliation,  he  is 


#  Emonis  Chron.  aim.  1234  (Matthsei  Analccta  III.  139  sqq.).  — Potthast  No. 
9399,  9400.  —  Epistt.  Select.  Sa3cul.  XIII.  T.  I.  No.  572.— Meyeri  Annal.  Flandr. 
Lib.  Yin.  ami.  1233. — Chron.  Cornel.  Zantfliet  ann.  1234.— Schumacher,  pp.  116- 
17.— Chron.  Erfordiens.  ann.  1232.— Sachsische  Weltchronik  No.  376-8.— H.Wol- 
teri  Chron.  Bremens.  (Meibom.  Rer.  Germ.  II.  58-9).— Chron.  Rastedens.  (lb.  II. 
101). — Joan  Otton.  Cat.  Archiepp.  Bremens.  ann.  1234. — Albert.  Stadens.  ann. 
1234. — Anon.  Saxon.  Hist.  Imperator.  aim.  1229. 


CRUSADES    FOR    THE    PAPACY.  189 

authorized  to  reconcile  them  on  receiving  proper  security  that 
they  will  be  obedient  for  the  future  and  make  proper  amends  for 
the  past.  In  this  closing  act  of  the  bloody  drama  it  is  noteworthy 
that  there  is  no  allusion  to  any  of  the  specific  heresies  which  had 
been  alleged  as  a  reason  for  the  extermination  of  the  heretics. 
Perhaps  the  breaking  of  Conrad  of  Marburg's  bubble  had  shown 
the  falsity  of  the  charges,  but  whether  this  were  so  or  not  those 
charges  had  been  wTholly  supererogatory  except  as  a  means  of  ex- 
citing popular  animosity.  Disobedience  to  the  Church  was  suffi- 
cient ;  resistance  to  its  claims  was  heresy,  punishable  here  and  here- 
after with  all  the  penalties  of  the  temporal  and  spiritual  swords.* 

It  is  not  to  be  supposed  that  Gregory  neglected  to  employ  in 
his  owm  interest  the  moral  and  material  forces  which  he  had  thus 
put  at  the  disposal  of  Gerhardt  of  Bremen.  When,  in  1238,  he 
became  involved  in  a  quarrel  with  the  Viterbians  and  their  leader 
Aldobrandini,  he  commuted  the  vow  of  the  Podesta  of  Spoleto  to 
serve  in  Palestine  into  service  against  Yiterbo,  and  he  freely  of- 
fered Holy  Land  indulgences  to  all  who  would  enlist  under  his 
banner.  In  1241  he  formally  declared  the  cause  of  the  Church  to 
be  more  important  than  that  of  Palestine,  when,  being  in  want  of 
funds  to  carry  on  his  contest  with  Frederic  II.,  he  ordered  that 
crusaders  be  induced  to  commute  their  vowts  for  money,  while  still 
receiving  full  indulgences,  or  else  be  persuaded  to  turn  their  arms 
against  Frederic  in  the  crusade  which  he  had  caused  to  be  preached 
against  him.  Innocent  IV.  pursued  the  same  policy  when  he  had 
set  up  a  rival  emperor  in  the  person  of  William  of  Holland,  and  a 
crusade  was  preached  in  1248  for  a  special  expedition  to  Aix-la- 
Chapelle,  of  which  the  capture  was  necessary  in  order  to  his  coro- 
nation, and  vows  for  Palestine  were  redeemed  that  the  money 
should  be  handed  over  to  him.  After  Frederic's  death  his  son 
Conrad  IV.  was  the  object  of  similar  measures,  and  all  who  bore 
arms  in  his  favor  against  William  of  Holland  were  the  subject 
of  papal  anathemas.     To  maintain  the  Italian  interests  of  the 


*  Potthast  No.  9777.— Hartzheim  III.  554. 

As  the  contemporary  Abbot  Emo  of  Wittewerum  says,  in  describing  the  af- 
fair— "  principalior  causa  fuit  inobedientia,  quse  scelere  idololatriae  non  est  infe- 
rior" (Mattbaei  Analect.  III.  142). 


190  POLITICAL    HERESY.  — THE    CHURCH. 

papacy,  men  slaughtered  each  other  in  holy  wars  all  over  Europe. 
The  disastrous  expedition  to  Aragon  which  cost  Philippe  le  Hardi 
his  life  in  1281  was  a  crusade  preached  by  order  of  Martin  IY.  to 
aid  Charles  of  Anjou,  and  to  punish  Pedro  III.  for  his  conquest  of 
Sicily  after  the  Sicilian  Vespers.* 

With  the  systematization  of  the  laws  against  heresy  and  the 
organization  of  the  Inquisition,  proceedings  of  this  nature  assume 
a  more  regular  shape,  especially  in  Italy.  It  was  in  their  charac- 
ter as  Italian  princes  that  the  popes  found  the  supreme  utility  of 
the  Holy  Office.  Frederic  II.  had  been  forced  to  pay  for  his  coro- 
nation not  only  by  the  edict  of  persecution,  but  by  the  confirma- 
tion of  the  grant  of  the  Countess  Matilda.  Papal  ambition  thus 
stimulated  aspired  to  the  domination  of  the  whole  of  Italy,  and 
for  this  the  way  seemed  open  with  the  death  of  Frederic  in  1250, 
followed  by  that  of  Conrad  in  1254.  When  the  hated  Suabians 
passed  away,  the  unification  of  Italy  under  the  triple  crown  seemed 
at  hand,  and  Innocent  IY.,  before  his  death  in  December,  1254, 
had  the  supreme  satisfaction  of  lording  it  in  Naples,  the  most 
powerful  pope  that  the  Holy  See  had  known.  Yet  the  nobles  and 
cities  were  as  unwilling  to  subject  themselves  to  the  Innocents 
and  Alexanders  as  to  the  Frederics,  and  the  turbulent  factions  of 
Guelf  and  Ghibelline  maintained  the  civil  strife  in  every  corner 
of  central  and  upper  Italy.  To  the  papal  policy  it  was  an  invalu- 
able assistance  to  have  the  power  of  placing  in  every  town  of  im- 
portance an  inquisitor  whose  devotion  to  Rome  was  unquestioned, 
whose  person  was  inviolable,  and  who  was  authorized  to  compel 
the  submissive  assistance  of  the  secular  arm  under  terror  of  a 
prosecution  for  heresy  in  the  case  of  slack  obedience.  Such  an 
agent  could  cope  with  podesta  and  bishop,  and  even  an  unruly 
populace  rarely  ventured  a  resort  to  temporary  violence.  The 
statutes  of  the  republics,  as  we  have  seen,  were  modified  and 
moulded  to  adapt  them  to  the  fullest  development  of  the  new 
power,  under  the  excuse  of  facilitating  the  extermination  of  her- 
esy, and  the  Holy  Office  became  the  ultimate  expression  of  the 
serviceable  devotion  of  the  Mendicant  Orders  to  the  Holy  See. 
From  this  point  of  view  we  are  able  to  appreciate  the  full  signifi- 


.     *  Epistt.  Selectt.  Saec.  XIII.  T.  I.  No.  720,  801.— Berger,  Registres  dTnnoceut 
IV.  No.  4181,  4265, 4269.— Ripoll  I.  219,  225.— Vaissette,  IV.  46. 


UTILITY    OF    THE    INQUISITION.  191 

cance  of  the  terrible  bulls  Ad  extirpanda,  described  in  a  previous 
chapter. 

It  was  possibly  with  a  view  thus  to  utilize  the  force  of  both 
Orders  that  the  Inquisitions  of  northern  and  central  Italy  were 
divided  between  them,  and  their  respective  provinces  permanent- 
ly assigned  to  each.  Nor  perhaps  would  we  err  in  recognizing  an 
object  in  the  assignment  to  the  Dominicans,  who  were  regarded 
as  sterner  and  more  vigorous  than  their  rivals,  of  the  province  of 
Lombardy,  which  not  only  was  the  hot-bed  of  heresy,  but  which 
retained  some  recollections  of  the  ancient  independence  of  the 
Ambrosian  Church,  and  was  more  susceptible  to  imperial  influ- 
ences from  Germany. 

With  the  development  of  the  laws  against  heresy,  and  the  or- 
ganization of  special  tribunals  for  the  application  of  those  laws, 
it  was  soon  perceived  that  an  accusation  of  heresy  was  a  peculiar- 
ly easy  and  efficient  method  of  attacking  a  political  enemy.  No 
charge  was  easier  to  bring,  none  so  difficult  to  disprove — in  fact, 
from  what  we  have  seen  of  the  procedure  of  the  Inquisition,  there 
was  none  in  which  acquittal  was  so  absolutely  impossible  where 
the  tribunal  was  desirous  of  condemnation.  When  employed  po- 
litically the  accused  had  the  naked  alternative  of  submission  or 
of  armed  resistance.  No  crime,  moreover,  according  to  the  ac- 
cepted legal  doctrines  of  the  age,  carried  with  it  a  penalty  so  se- 
vere for  a  potentate  who  was  above  all  other  laws.  Besides,  the 
procedure  of  the  Inquisition  required  that  when  a  suspected  her- 
etic was  summoned  to  trial,  his  first  step  was  humbly  to  swear 
to  stand  to  the  mandates  of  the  Church,  and  perform  whatever 
penance  it  should  see  fit  to  impose  in  case  he  failed  to  clear  him- 
self of  the  suspicion.  Thus  an  immense  advantage  was  gained 
over  a  political  enemy  by  merely  citing  him  to  appear,  when  he 
was  obliged  either  to  submit  himself  in  advance  to  any  terms  that 
might  be  dictated  to  him,  or,  by  refusing  to  appear,  expose  him- 
self to  condemnation  for  contumacy  with  its  tremendous  temporal 
consequences. 

It  mattered  little  what  were  the  grounds  on  which  a  charge 
of  heresy  was  based.  In  the  intricate  intrigues  and  factional  strife 
which  seethed  and  boiled  in  every  Italian  city,  there  could  be 
no  lack  of  excuse  for  setting  the  machinery  of  the  Inquisition  in 
motion  whenever  there  was  an  object  to  be  attained.     With  the 


192  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE    CHURCH. 

organization  of  the  Hildebrandine  theocracy  the  heretical  charac- 
ter of  simple  disobedience,  which  had  been  implied  rather  than 
expressed,  came  to  be  distinctly  formulated.  Thomas  Aquinas 
did  not  shrink  from  proving  that  resistance  to  the  authority  of 
the  Roman  Church  was  heretical.  By  embodying  in  the  canon 
law  the  bull  Unam  Sanctum  the  Church  accepted  the  definition 
of  Boniface  VIII.  that  whoever  resists  the  power  lodged  by  God 
in  the  Church  resists  God,  unless,  like  a  Manichaean,  he  believes  in 
two  principles,  which  shows  him  to  be  a  heretic.  If  the  supreme 
spiritual  power  errs,  it  is  to  be  judged  of  God  alone ;  there  is  no 
earthly  appeal.  "  We  say,  declare,  define,  and  pronounce  that  it  is 
necessary  to  salvation  that  every  human  creature  be  subjected  to 
the  Roman  pontiff."  Inquisitors,  therefore,  were  fully  justified  in 
laying  it  down  as  an  accepted  principle  of  law  that  disobedience 
to  any  command  of  the  Holy  See  was  heresy  ;  so  was  any  attempt 
to  deprive  the  Roman  Church  of  any  privilege  which  it  saw  fit 
to  claim.  As  a  corollary  to  this  was  the  declaration  that  inquisi- 
tors had  power  to  levy  Avar  against  heretics  and  to  give  it  the 
character  of  a  crusade  by  granting  all  the  indulgences  offered  for 
the  succor  of  the  Holy  Land.  Armed  with  such  powers,  it  would 
be  difficult  to  exaggerate  the  importance  of  the  Inquisition  as  a 
political  instrument.* 

Incidental  allusion  has  been  made  above  to  the  application  of 
these  methods  in  the  cases  of  Ezzelin  da  Romano  and  Uberto  Pal- 
lavicino,  and  we  have  seen  their  efficacy  even  in  the  tumultuous 
lawlessness  of  the  period  as  one  of  the  factors  in  the  ruin  of  those 
powerful  chiefs.  AVhen  the  crusade  against  Ezzelin  was  preached 
in  the  north  of  Europe  he  was  represented  to  the  people  simply 
as  a  powerful  heretic  who  was  persecuting  the  faith.  Even  more 
conspicuous  was  the  application   of  this  principle  in  the  great 


*  Th.  Aquinat.  Sec.  Sec.  Q.  11, No.  2-3.— C.  1.  Extrav.  Commun.  i.  8.— Zancbini 
Tract,  de  Haeret.  c.  ii.,  xxxvii. 

It  was  probably  as  a  derivative  from  the  sanctity  of  the  power  of  the  Holy 
See  that  the  Inquisition  was  given  jurisdiction  over  the  forgers  and  falsifiers 
of  papal  bulls — gentry  whose  industry  we  have  seen  to  be  one  of  the  inevi- 
table consequences  of  the  autocracy  of  Rome.  Letters  under  which  Fra  Gri- 
maldo  da  Prato.  Inquisitor  of  Tuscany  in  1297,  was  directed  to  act  in  certain 
cases  of  the  kind  are  printed  by  Arnati  in  the  Archivio  Storico  Italiano,  No.  38, 
p.G. 


PROCEEDINGS   AGAINST    MANFRED.  193 

struggle  on  which  all  the  rest  depended,  which  in  fact  decided  the 
destiny  of  the  whole  peninsula.  The  destruction  of  Manfred  was 
an  actual  necessity  to  the  success  of  the  papal  policy,  and  for 
years  the  Church  sought  throughout  Europe  a  champion  who 
could  be  allured  by  the  promise  of  an  earthly  crown  and  assured 
salvation.  In  1255  Alexander  IY.  authorized  his  legate,  Bustand, 
Bishop  of  Bologna,  to  release  Henry  III.  of  England  from  his  cru- 
sader's vow  if  he  would  turn  his  arms  against  Manfred,  and  the 
bribe  of  the  Sicilian  throne  was  offered  to  Henry's  son,  Edmund 
of  Lancaster.  When  Bustand  preached  the  crusade  against  Man- 
fred and  offered  the  same  indulgences  as  for  the  Holy  Land  the 
ignorant  islanders  wondered  greatly  at  learning  that  the  same 
pardons  could  be  earned  for  shedding  Christian  blood  as  for 
that  of  the  infidel.  They  did  not  understand  that  Manfred  was 
necessarily  a  heretic,  and  that,  as  Alexander  soon  afterwards  de- 
clared to  Bainerio  Saccone,  it  was  more  important  to  defend  the 
faith  at  home  than  in  foreign  lands.  In  1264,  when  Alphonse  of 
Boitiers  was  projecting  a  crusade,  Urban  IY.  urged  him  to  change 
his  purpose  and  assail  Manfred,  Finally,  when  Charles  of  Anjou 
was  induced  to  strive  for  the  glittering  prize,  all  the  enginery  of 
the  Church  was  exerted  to  raise  for  him  an  army  of  crusaders  with 
a  lavish  distribution  of  the  treasures  of  salvation.  The  shreivd 
lawyer,  Clement  IY.,  seconded  and  justified  the  appeal  to  arms 
by  a  formal  trial  for  heresy.  Just  as  the  crusade  was  burst- 
ing upon  him,  Clement  was  summoning  him  to  present  himself 
for  trial  as  a  suspected  heretic.  The  term  assigned  to  him  was 
February  2, 1266 ;  Manfred  had  more  pressing  cares  at  the  mo- 
ment, and  contented  himself  with  sending  procurators  to  offer 
purgation  for  him.  As  he  did  not  appear  personally,  Clement,  on 
February  21,  called  upon  the  consistory  to  declare  him  condemned 
as  a  contumacious  heretic,  arguing  that  his  excuse  that  the  enemy 
were  upon  him  was  invalid,  since  he  had  only  to  give  up  his  king- 
dom to  avert  attack.  As  but  five  days  after  this,  on  February  26, 
Manfred  fell  upon  the  disastrous  field  of  Benevento,  the  legal  pro- 
ceedings had  no  influence  on  the  result,  yet  none  the  less  do  they 
serve  to  show  the  spirit  in  which  Borne  administered  against  its 
political  opponents  the  laws  which  it  had  enacted  against  heresy.* 


*  Th.  Cantimpratens.  Bonum  universale,  Lib.  11.  c.  2.— Matt.  Paris  ann.  1255 
III.— 13 


194  POLITICAL    HERESY.  — THE  CHURCH. 

This  was  the  virtual  destruction  of  the  imperial  power  in  Italy. 
With  the  Angevines  on  the  throne  of  Naples  and  the  empire  nul- 
lified by  the  Great  Interregnum  and  its  consequences,  the  popes 
had  ample  opportunity  to  employ  the  penalties  for  heresy  to  grat- 
ify hatred  or  to  extend  their  power.  How  they  used  the  weapon 
for  the  one  purpose  is  seen  when  Boniface  Till,  quarrelled  with 
the  Colonnas  and  condemned  them  as  heretics,  driving  the  whole 
family  out  of  Italy,  tearing  down  their  houses  and  destroying 
their  property ;  though  after  Sciarra  Colonna  vindicated  his  ortho- 
doxy by  capturing  and  causing  the  death  of  Boniface  at  Anagni, 
Benedict  XI.  made  haste  to  reverse  the  sentence,  except  as  to  con- 
fiscation.* How  the  principle  worked  when  applied  to  temporal 
aggrandizement  may  be  estimated  from  the  attempt  of  Clement  V. 
to  gain  possession  of  Ferrara.  When  the  Marchese  Azzo  d'  Este 
died,  in  1308,  he  left  no  legitimate  heirs,  and  the  Bishop  of  Ferrara 
was  Fra  Guido  Maltraverso,  the  former  inquisitor  who  had  suc- 
ceeded in  burning  the  bones  of  Armanno  Pongilupo.  He  forth- 
with commenced  intriguing  to  secure  the  city  for  the  Holy  See, 
which  had  some  shadowy  claims  arising  under  the  donations  of 
Charlemagne.  Clement  V.  eagerly  grasped  at  the  opportunity. 
He  pronounced  the  rights  of  the  Church  unquestionable,  and  con- 
doled with  the  Ferrarese  on  their  having  been  so  long  deprived  of 
the  sweetness  of  clerical  rule  and  subjected  to  those  who  devoured 
them.  There  were  two  pretenders,  Azzo's  brother  Francesco  and 
his  natural  son  Frisco.    The  Ferrarese  desired  neither ;  they  even 


(p.  614).— Ripoll  I.  326.— Raynald.  ann.  1264,  No.  14.— Arch,  de  lTnq.  de  Car- 
cassonne (Doat,  XXXII.  27). 

Clement  IV.  (Gui  Foucoix)  was  regarded  as  one  of  the  best  lawyers  of  his 
day,  but  in  the  severity  of  his  application  of  the  law  against  Manfred  he  was 
not  unanimously  supported  by  the  cardinals.  On  February  20  he  writes  to 
the  Cardinal  of  S.  Martino,  his  legate  in  the  Mark  of  Ancona,  for  his  opinion  on 
the  question.  Manfred  and  Uberto  Pallavicino  had  both  been  cited  to  appear 
on  trial  for  heresy.  Manfred  had  sent  procurators  to  offer  purgation,  but  Uberto 
had  disregarded  the  summons  and  was  a  contumacious  heretic.  To  the  con- 
demnation of  the  latter  there  was  therefore  no  opposition,  but  some  cardinals 
thought  that  Manfred's  excuse  was  reasonable  in  view  of  the  enemy  at  his  gates, 
even  though  he  could  easily  avert  attack  by  surrender.— Clement  PP.  IV.  Epist. 
232  (Martene  Thesaur.  H.  279). 

*  C.  1,  Sexto  v.  3.— C.  1,  Extrav.  Commun.  v.  4. 


CRUSADE    AGAINST    FERRARA.  195 

manifested  a  disregard  for  the  blessings  promised  them  by  Clem- 
ent and  proclaimed  a  republic.     Frisco  sought  the  aid  of  the 
Venetians,  while  Francesco  secured  the  support  of  the  Church. 
Frisco  obtained  possession,  but  fled  when  Francesco  advanced 
with  the  papal  legate,  Arnaldo  di  Pelagrua,  who  assumed  the 
domination  of  the  city — as  a  contemporary  chronicler  observes, 
Francesco  had  no  reason  to  be  disappointed,  for  ecclesiastics  al- 
ways act  like  rapacious  wolves.     Then,  with  the  aid  of  the  Vene- 
tians, Frisco  regained  possession,  and  peace  was  made  in  December, 
1308.     This  was  but  the  commencement  of  the  struggle  for  the 
unhappy  citizens.     In  1309  Clement  proclaimed  a  crusade  against 
the  Venetians.     March  7  he  issued  a  bull  casting  an  interdict 
over  Venice  with  confiscation  of  all  its  possessions,  excommunicat- 
ing the  doge,  the  senate,  and  all  the  gentlemen  of  the  republic, 
and  offering  Venetians  to  slavery  throughout  the  world.    As  their 
ships  sailed  to  every  port,  many  Venetian  merchants  were  reduced 
to  servitude  throughout  Christendom.      The  legate  assiduously 
preached  the  crusade,  and  all  the  bishops  of  the  region  assembled 
at  Bologna  with  such  forces  as  they  could  raise.    Multitudes  took 
the  cross  to  gain  the  indulgence,  Bologna  alone  furnishing  eight 
thousand  troops,  and  the  legate  advanced  with  an  overwhelming 
army.     After  severe  fighting  the  Venetians  were  defeated  with 
such  slaughter  that  the  legate,  to  avert  a  pestilence,  offered  an 
indulgence  to  every  man  who  would  bury  a  dead  body,  and  the 
fugitives  drowned  in  the  Po  were  so  numerous  that  the  water 
was  corrupted  and  rendered  unfit  to  drink.     All  the  prisoners 
taken  he  blinded  and  sent  to  Venice,  and  on  entering  the  city  he 
hanged  all  the  adherents  of  Frisco.     Appointing  a  governor  in 
the  name  of  the  Church,  he  returned  to  Avignon  and  was  splen- 
didly rewarded  for  his  services  in  the  cause  of  Christ,  while  Clem- 
ent unctuously  congratulated  the  Ferrarese  on  their  return  to  the 
sweet  bosom  of  the  Church,  and  declared  that  no  one  could,  with- 
out sighs  and  tears,  reflect  upon  their  miseries  and  afflictions  under 
their  native  rulers.     In  spite  of  this  the  ungrateful  people,  chaf- 
ing under  the  foreign  domination,  arose  in  1310  and  massacred 
the  papalists.     Then  the  legate  returned  with  a  Bolognese  force, 
regained  possession  and  hanged  the  rebels,  with  the  exception  of 
one,  who  bought  off  his  life.    Fresh  tumults  occurred,  with  bloody 
reprisals  and  frightful  atrocities  on  both  sides  until,  in  1314,  Clem- 


196  POLITICAL    HERESY.  — THE    CHURCH. 

ent,  wearied  with  his  prize,  made  it  over  to  Sancha,  wife  of  Robert 
of  Xaples.  The  Gascon  garrison  excited  the  hatred  of  the  people, 
who  in  1317  invited  Azzo,  son  of  Francesco,  to  come  to  their  re- 
lief. After  a  stubborn  resistance  the  Gascons  surrendered  on 
promise  of  life,  but  the  fury  of  the  people  would  not  be  restrained, 
and  they  were  slain  to  the  last  man.  From  this  brief  episode  in 
the  history  of  an  Italian  city  we  can  conceive  what  was  the  in- 
fluence of  papal  ambition  stimulated  by  the  facility  with  which 
its  opponents  could  be  condemned  as  heretics  and  armies  be  raised 
at  will  to  defend  the  faith." 

John  XXII.  was  not  a  pope  to  allow  the  spiritual  sword  to 
rust  in  the  sheath,  and  we  have  seen  incidentally  the  use  which 
he  made  of  the  charge  of  heresy  in  his  mortal  combat  with  Louis 
of  Bavaria.  Still  more  characteristic  were  his  proceedings  against 
the  Yisconti  of  Milan.  On  his  accession  in  August,  1316,  his  first 
thought  was  to  unite  Italy  under  his  overlordship,  and  to  keep 
the  empire  beyond  the  Alps,  for  which  the  contested  election  of 
Louis  of  Bavaria  and  Frederic  of  Austria  seemed  to  offer  full  op- 
portunity. Early  in  December  he  despatched  Bernard  Gui,  the 
Inquisitor  of  Toulouse,  and  Bertrand,  Franciscan  Minister  of  Aqui- 
taine,  as  nuncios  to  effect  that  purpose.  Neither  Guelfs  nor  Ghib- 
elhnes  were  inclined  to  accept  his  views — the  Ferrarese  troubles, 
not  as  yet  concluded,  were  full  of  pregnant  warnings.    Especially 


*  Barbarano  de1  Mironi,  Hist.  Eccles.  di  Vicenza  II.  153-4. — Regest.  Clement. 
PP.  V.  T.  III.  pp.  354  sqq. ;  T.  IV.  pp.  426  sqq.,  pp.  459  sqq. ;  T.  V.p.  412.  (Ed. 
Benedictin.,  Romas,  1886-7).— Chron.  Estense  ann.  1309-17  (Muratori  S.  R.  I.  XV. 
364-82).— FerretiVincentini  Hist.  Lib.  in.  (lb.  IX.  1037-47).— Cronica  di  Bologna, 
ann.  1309-10  (lb.  XVIII.  320-1).— Campi,  Dell1  Histor.  Eccles.  di  Ferrara,  P.  in. 
p.  40. 

Even  the  pious  and  temperate  Muratori  cannot  restrain  himsell  from  describ- 
ing Clement's  bull  against  the  Venetians  as  "  la  piu  tei'ribile  ed  ingiusta  Bolla  che 
si  sia  mai  udita"  (Annal.  ann.  1309).  We  have  seen  in  the  case  of  Florence  what 
control  such  measures  enabled  the  papacy  to  exercise  over  the  commercial  re- 
publics of  Italy.  The  confiscation  threatened  in  the  sentence  of  excommunica- 
tion was  no  idle  menace.  When,  in  1281,  Martin  IV.  quarrelled  with  the  city  of 
Forliand  excommunicated  it  he  ordered,  under  pain  of  excommunication  not  re- 
movable even  on  the  death-bed,  all  who  owed  money  to  the  citizens  to  declare 
the  debts  to  his  representatives  and  pay  them  over,  and  he  thus  collected  many 
thousand  lire  of  his  enemies'  substance. — Chron.  Parmeus.  ann.  1281  (Muratori 
S.  R.  I.  IX.  797) 


THE    CASE    OF    THE    VISCONTI.  197 

recalcitrant  were  the  three  Ghibeliine  chiefs  of  Lombardy,  Matteo 
Yisconti,  known  as  the  Great,  who  ruled  over  the  greater  part  of 
the  region  and  still  retained  the  title  of  Imperial  Yicar  bestowed 
on  him  by  Henry  YIL,  Cane  della  Scala,  Lord  of  Yerona,  and  Pas- 
serino  of  Mantua.  They  received  his  envoys  with  all  due  honor, 
but  found  excuses  for  evading  his  commands.  In  March,  1317, 
John  issued  a  bull  in  which  he  declared  that  all  the  imperial 
appointments  had  lapsed  on  the  death  of  Henry,  that  until  his 
successor  had  received  the  papal  approval  all  the  power  of  the 
empire  vested  in  the  Holy  See,  and  that  whoever  presumed  to 
exercise  those  powers  without  permission  was  guilty  of  treason 
to  the  Church.  Papal  imperiousness  on  one  side  and  Ghibeliine 
stubbornness  on  the  other  rendered  a  rupture  inevitable.  It  is  not 
our  province  to  trace  the  intricate  maze  of  diplomatic  intrigue  and 
military  activity  which  followed,  with  the  balance  of  success  pre- 
ponderating decidedly  in  favor  of  the  Ghibellines.  April  6, 1318, 
came  a  bull  decreeing  excommunication  on  Matteo,  Cane,  Passeri- 
no,  and  all  who  refused  obedience.  This  was  speedily  followed  by 
formal  monitions  and  citations  to  trial  on  charges  of  heresy,  Mat- 
teo and  his  sons  being  the  chief  objects  of  persecution.  It  was  not 
difficult  to  find  materials  for  these,  furnished  by  refugees  from 
Milan  at  the  papal  court — Bonifacio  di  Farra,  Lorenzo  Gallmi,  and 
others.  The  Yisconti  were  accused  of  erring  in  the  faith,  especially 
as  to  the  resurrection,  of  invoking  the  devil,  with  whom  they  had 
compacts,  of  protecting  Guglielma ;  they  were  fautors  of  heretics 
and  impeders  of  the  Inquisition ;  they  had  robbed  churches,  vio- 
lated nuns,  and  tortured  and  slain  priests.  The  Yisconti  remained 
contumaciously  absent  and  were  duly  condemned  as  heretics.  Mat- 
teo summoned  a  conference  of  the  Ghibeliine  chiefs  at  Soncino, 
which  treated  the  action  of  the  pope  as  an  effort  to  resuscitate  the 
failing  cause  of  the  Guelfs.  A  Ghibeliine  league  was  formed  with 
Can  Grande  della  Scala  as  captain  of  its  forces.  To  meet  this  John 
called  in  the  aid  of  France,  appointed  Philippe  de  Yalois  Imperial 
Yicar,  and  procured  a  French  invasion  which  proved  bootless.  Then 
he  sent  his  son  or  nephew,  Cardinal  Bertrand  de  Poyet  as  legate, 
with  the  title  of  "  pacifier,"  at  the  head  of  a  crusading  army  raised 
by  a  lavish  distribution  of  indulgences.  As  Petrarch  says,  he  as- 
sailed Milan  as  though  it  were  an  infidel  city,  like  Memphis  or 
Damascus,  and  Poyet,  whose  ferocity  was  a  proof  of  his  paternity, 


198  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE    CHURCH. 

came  not  as  an  apostle,  but  as  a  robber.  A  devastating  war  ensued, 
with  little  advantage  to  the  papalists,  but  the  spiritual  sword  proved 
more  effective  than  the  temporal.  May  26,  1321,  the  sentence  of 
condemnation  was  solemnly  promulgated  in  the  Church  of  San 
Stefano  at  Basseguano,  and  was  repeated  by  the  inquisitors  March 
14,  1322,  at  Valenza.* 

Strange  as  it  may  seem,  these  proceedings  appear  to  have  had 
a  decisive  influence  on  public  opinion.  It  is  true  that  when,  in  the 
seventeenth  century,  Paolo  Sarpi  alluded  to  these  transactions  and 
assumed  that  Matteo's  only  crime  was  his  adherence  to  Louis  of 
Bavaria,  Cardinal  Albizio  admitted  the  fact,  and  argued  that  those 
who  adhered  to  a  schismatic  and  heretic  emperor,  and  disregarded 
the  censures  of  the  Church,  rendered  themselves  suspect  of  heresy 
and  became  formal  heretics.  Yet  this  was  not  the  impression  at 
the  time,  and  John  had  recognized  that  something  more  was  re- 
quired than  such  a  charge  of  mere  technical  heresy.  The  Continua- 
tion of  Xangis,  which  reflects  with  fidelity  the  current  of  popular 
thought,  recounts  the  sins  of  Matteo  and  his  sons,  described  in 
the  papal  sentence,  as  a  new  heresy  arisen  in  Lombardy,  and  the 
papalist  military  operations  as  a  righteous  crusade  for  its  suppres- 
sion. Although  this  was  naturally  a  French  view  of  the  matter, 
it  was  not  confined  to  France.  In  Lombardy  Matteo's  friends 
were  discouraged  and  his  enemies  took  fresh  heart.  A  peace  party 
speedily  formed  itself  in  Milan,  and  the  question  was  openly  asked 
whether  the  whole  region  should  be  sacrificed  for  the  sake  of  one 
man.  In  spite  of  Matteo's  success  in  buying  off  Frederic  of  Aus- 
tria, whom  John  had  bribed  with  gold  and  promises  to  intervene 
with  an  army,  the  situation  grew  untenable  even  for  his  seasoned 
nerves.  It  is,  perhaps,  worthy  of  mention  that  Francesco  Gar- 
bagnate,  the  old  Guglielmite,  association  with  whom  was  one  of 
the  proofs  of  heresy  alleged  against  Matteo,  was  one  of  the  efficient 


*  Preger,  Die  Politik  des  Pabstes  Johann  XXII.,  Miincben,  1885,  pp.  6-10, 
21. — Petrarchi  Lib.  sine  Titulo  Epist.  xviii. — Raynald.  ann.  1317,  No.  27;  ann. 
1320,  No.  10-14;  ann.  1322,  No.  6-8,  11.— Bernard.  Corio,  Hist,  Milanese,  ann. 
1318,  1320,  1321-22. 

A  bull  of  John  XXII.,  Jan.  28,  1322,  ordering  the  sale  of  indulgences  to  aid 
the  crusade  of  Cardinal  Bertrand,  recites  the  heresy  of  Visconti  and  his  refusal 
to  obey  the  summons  for  his  trial  as  the  reason  for  assailing  him. — Regest.  CJem. 
PP.  V.,  Romae,  1885.  T.  I.  Prolegom.  p.  cxcviii. 


THE    CASE   OF   THE   VISCONTI.  199 

agents  in  procuring  his  downfall,  for  Matteo  had  estranged  him 
by  refusing  him  the  captaincy  of  the  Milanese  militia.  Matteo 
sent  to  the  legate  to  beg  for  terms,  and  was  told  that  nothing 
short  of  abdication  would  be  listened  to ;  he  consulted  the  citizens 
and  was  given  to  understand  that  Milan  would  not  expose  itself 
to  ruin  for  his  sake.  He  yielded  to  the  storm — perhaps  his  sev- 
enty-two years  had  somewhat  weakened  his  powers  of  resistance 
— -he  sent  for  his  son  Galeazzo,  with  whom  he  had  quarrelled,  and 
resigned  to  him  his  power,  with  an  expression  of  regret  that  his 
quarrel  with  the  Church  had  made  the  citizens  his  enemies.  From 
that  time  forth  he  devoted  himself  to  visiting  the  churches.  In 
the  Chiesa  Maggiore  he  assembled  the  clergy,  recited  the  Symbol 
in  a  loud  voice,  crying  that  it  had  been  his  faith  during  life,  and 
that  any  assertion  to  the  contrary  was  false,  and  of  this  he  caused 
a  public  instrument  to  be  drawn  up.  Departing  thence  like  to 
one  crazed,  he  hastened  to  Monza  to  visit  the  Church  of  S.  Giovanni 
Battista,  where  he  was  taken  sick  and  was  brought  back  to  the 
Monastery  of  Cresconzago,  and  died  within  three  days,  on  June  27, 
to  be  thrust  into  unconsecrated  ground.  The  Church  might  well 
boast  that  its  ban  had  broken  the  spirit  of  the  greatest  Italian  of 
the  age.* 

The  younger  Yisconti — Galeazzo,  Lucchino,  Marco,  Giovanni, 
and  Stefano —  were  not  so  impressionable,  and  rapidly  concen- 
trated the  Ghibelline  forces  which  seemed  to  be  breaking  in  pieces. 
To  give  them  their  coup  de  grace,  the  pope,  December  23,  1322, 
ordered  Aicardo,  the  Archbishop  of  Milan,  and  the  Inquisition  to 
proceed  against  the  memory  of  Matteo.  January  13,  1323,  from 
the  safe  retreat  of  Asti,  Aicardo  and  three  inquisitors,  Pace  da 
Yedano,  Giordano  da  Montecucho,  and  Honesto  da  Pa  via,  cited 
him  for  appearance  on  February  25,  in  the  Church  of  Santa  Maria 
at  Borgo,  near  Alessandria,  to  be  tried  and  judged,  whether  pres- 
ent or  not,  and  this  citation  they  affixed  on  the  portals  of  Santa 
Maria  and  of  the  cathedral  of  Alessandria.  On  the  appointed  day 
they  were  there,  but  a  military  demonstration  of  Marco  Yisconti 
disturbed  them,  to  the  prejudice  of  the  faith  and  impeding  of  the 


*  Sarpi,  Discorso,  p.  25  (Ed.  Helmstadt).  —  Albizio,  Risposto  al  P.  Paolo 
Sarpi,  p.  75.— Continuat.  Guill.  Nangiac.  ann.  1317. — Bern.  Corio,  aim.  1322. — 
Regest.  Joann.  PP.  XXII.  No.  89,  93,  94,  95  (Harduiu.  VII.  1432). 


200  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE    CHURCH. 

Inquisition.  Transferring  themselves  to  the  securer  walls  of  Ya- 
lenza,  they  heard  witnesses  and  collected  testimony,  and  on  March 
14  they  condemned  Matteo  as  a  defiant  and  unrepentant  heretic. 
He  had  imposed  taxes  on  the  churches  and  collected  them  by  vio- 
lence ;  he  had  forcibly  installed  his  creatures  as  superiors  in  mon- 
asteries and  his  concubines  in  nunneries  ;  he  had  imprisoned  eccle- 
siastics and  tortured  them — some  had  died  in  prison  and  others 
still  lingered  there ;  he  had  expelled  prelates  and  seized  their 
lands ;  he  had  prevented  the  transmission  of  money  to  the  papal 
camera,  even  sums  collected  for  the  Holy  Land ;  he  had  inter- 
cepted and  opened  letters  between  the  pope  and  the  legates ;  he 
had  attacked  and  slain  crusaders  assembled  in  Milan  for  the  Holy 
Land ;  he  had  disregarded  excommunication,  thus  showing  that 
he  erred  in  the  faith  as  to  the  sacraments  and  the  power  of  the 
keys ;  he  had  prevented  the  interdict  laid  upon  Milan  from  being 
observed ;  he  had  obstructed  prelates  from  holding  synods  and 
visiting  their  dioceses,  thus  favoring  heresies  and  scandals ;  his 
enormous  crimes  show  that  he  is  an  offshoot  of  heresy,  his  ances- 
tors having  been  suspect  and  some  of  them  burned,  and  he  has  for 
officials  and  confidants  heretics,  such  as  Francesco  Garbagnate,  on 
whom  crosses  had  been  imposed ;  he  has  expelled  the  Inquisition 
from  Florence  and  impeded  it  for  several  years ;  he  interposed  in 
favor  of  Maifreda  who  was  burned ;  he  is  an  invoker  of  demons, 
seeking  from  them  advice  and  responses ;  he  denies  the  resurrec- 
tion of  the  flesh ;  he  has  endured  papal  excommunication  for  more 
than  three  years,  and  when  cited  for  examination  into  his  faith  he 
refused  to  appear.  He  is,  therefore,  condemned  as  a  contuma- 
cious heretic,  all  his  territories  are  declared  confiscated,  he  himself 
deprived  of  all  honors,  station,  and  dignities,  and  liable  to  the  pen- 
alties decreed  for  heresy,  his  person  to  be  captured,  and  his  chil- 
dren and  grandchildren  subjected  to  the  customary  disabilities.* 

This  curious  farrago  of  accusations  is  worth  reciting,  as  it  shows 
what  was  regarded  as  heresy  in  an  opponent  of  the  temporal  power 
of  the  papacy — that  the  simplest  acts  of  self-defence  against  an 
enemy  who  was  carrying  on  active  war  against  him  were  gravely 
treated  as  heretical,  and  constituted  valid  reasons  for  inflicting 
all  the  tremendous  penalties  prescribed  by  the  laws  for  lapses 


Ughelli,  Italia  Sacra,  IV.  286-93  (Ed.  1652). 


THE    GHIBELLINES    OF    LOMBARDY.  201 

in  faith.  Politically,  however,  the  portentous  sentence  was  inop- 
erative. Galeazzo  maintained  the  field,  and  in  February,  1324, 
inflicted  a  crushing  defeat  on  the  papal  troops,  the  cardinal-legate 
barely  escaping  by  flight,  and  his  general,  Paymondo  di  Cardona 
being  carried  a  prisoner  to  Milan.  Fresh  comminations  were  nec- 
essarv  to  stimulate  the  faithful,  and  March  23  John  issued  a  bull 
condemning  Matteo  and  his  five  sons,  reciting  their  evil  deeds  for 
the  most  part  in  the  words  of  the  inquisitorial  sentence,  though 
the  looseness  of  the  whole  incrimination  is  seen  in  the  omission  of 
the  most  serious  charge  of  all — that  of  demon-worship — and  the 
defence  of  Maifreda  is  replaced  by  a  statement  that  Matteo  had 
interfered  to  save  Galeazzo,  who  was  now  stated  to  have  been  a 
Guglielmite.  The  bull  concludes  by  offering  Holy  Land  indul- 
gences to  all  who  would  assail  the  Visconti.  This  was  followed, 
April  12,  by  another,  reciting  that  the  sons  of  Matteo  had  been 
by  competent  judges  duly  convicted  and  sentenced  for  heresy, 
but  in  spite  of  this,  Berthold  of  ISTyffen,  calling  himself  Imperial 
Yicar  of  Lombardy,  and  other  representatives  of  Louis  of  Bava- 
ria, had  assisted  the  said  heretics  in  resisting  the  faithful  Catholics 
who  had  taken  up  arms  against  them.  They  are  therefore  allowed 
two  months  in  which  to  lay  down  their  pretended  offices  and  sub- 
mit, as  they  have  rendered  themselves  excommunicate  and  subject 
to  all  the  penalties,  spiritual  and  temporal,  of  fautorship.* 

It  is  scarce  worth  while  to  pursue  further  the  dreary  details  of 
these  forgotten  quarrels,  except  to  indicate  that  the  case  of  the  Vis- 
conti was  in  no  sense  exceptional,  and  that  the  same  weapons  were 
employed  by  John  against  all  who  crossed  his  ambitious  schemes. 
The  Inquisitor  Accursio  of  Florence  had  proceeded  in  the  same 
way  against  Castruccio  of  Lucca,  as  a  fautor  of  heretics ;  the  in- 
quisitors of  the  March  of  Ancona  had  condemned  Guido  Malapieri, 
Bishop  of  Arezzo,  and  other  Ghibellines  for  supporting  Louis  of 
Bavaria.  Fra  Lamberto  del  Cordiglio,  Inquisitor  of  Romagnuola, 
was  ordered  to  use  his  utmost  exertions  to  punish  those  within  his 
district.  Louis  of  Bavaria,  in  his  appeal  of  1324,  states  that  the 
same  prosecutions  were  brought,  and  sentences  for  heresy  pro- 
nounced, against  Cane  della  Scala,  Passerino,  the  Marquises  of 
Montferrat,  Saluces,  Ceva,  and  others,  the  Genoese,  the  Lucchese, 


*  Raynald.  ann.  1324,  No.  7-12.— Martene  Thesaur.  II.  754-6. 


202  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE   CHURCH. 

and  the  cities  of  Milan,  Como,  Bergamo,  Cremona,  Yercelli,  Trino, 
Yailate,  Piacenza,  Parma,  Brescia,  Alessandria,  Tortona,  Albenga, 
Pisa,  Aretino,  etc.  We  have  a  specimen  of  Fra  Lamberto's  opera- 
tions in  a  sentence  pronounced  by  him,  February  28, 1328,  against 
Bernardino,  Count  of  Cona.  He  had  already  condemned  for  heresy 
Bainaldo  and  Oppizo  d'  Este,  in  spite  of  which  Bernardino  had 
visited  them  in  Ferrara,  had  eaten  and  drunk  with  them,  and  was 
said  to  have  entered  into  a  league  with  them.  For  these  offences 
Lamberto  summoned  him  to  stand  trial  before  the  Inquisition. 
He  duly  appeared,  and  admitted  the  visit  and  banquet,  but  denied 
the  alliance.  Lamberto  proceeded  to  take  testimony,  called  an 
assembly  of  experts,  and  in  due  form  pronounced  him  a  fautor  of 
heretics,  condemning  him,  as  such,  to  degradation  from  his  rank 
and  knighthood,  and  incapacity  to  hold  any  honors  ;  his  estates 
were  confiscated  to  the  Church,  his  person  was  to  be  seized  and 
delivered  to  the  Cardinal-legate  Bertrand  or  to  the  Inquisition, 
and  his  descendants  for  two  generations  were  declared  incapable 
of  holding  any  office  or  benefice.  All  this  was  for  the  greater 
glory  of  God,  for  when,  in  1326,  John  begged  the  clergy  of  Ireland 
to  send  him  money,  it  was,  he  said,  for  the  purpose  of  defending 
the  faith  against  the  heretics  of  Italy.  Yet  the  Holy  See  was  per- 
fectly ready,  when  occasion  suited,  to  admit  that  this  wholesale 
distribution  of  damnation 'was  a  mere  prostitution  of  its  control 
over  the  salvation  of  mankind.  After  the  Yisconti  had  been  rec- 
onciled with  the  papacy,  in  1337,  Lucchino,  who  was  anxious  to 
have  Christian  burial  for  his  father,  applied  to  Benedict  XII.  to 
reopen  the  process.  In  February  of  that  year,  accordingly,  Bene- 
dict wrote  to  Pace  da  Yedano,  who  had  conducted  the  proceedings 
against  the  Yisconti  and  against  the  citizens  of  Milan,  Xovara, 
Bergamo,  Cremona,  Como,  Yercelli,  and  other  places  for  adhering 
to  them,  and  who  had  been  rewarded  with  the  bishopric  of  Trieste, 
requiring  him  to  send  by  Pentecost  all  the  documents  concerning 
the  trial.  The  affair  was  protracted,  doubtless  owing  to  political 
vicissitudes,  but  at  length,  in  May,  1341,  Benedict  took  no  shame  in 
pronouncing  the  whole  proceedings  null  and  void  for  irregularity 
and  injustice.  Still  the  same  machinery  was  used  against  Bernabo 
Yisconti,  who  was  summoned  by  Innocent  YI.  to  appear  at  Avignon 
on  March  1, 1363,  for  trial  as  a  heretic,  and  as  he  only  sent  a  pro- 
curator, he  was  promptly  condemned  by  Urban  Y.  on  March  3, 


RIENZO.— THE    MAFFREDI.  203 

and  a  crusade  was  preached  against  him.  In  1364  he  made  his 
peace,  but  in  1372  the  perennial  quarrel  broke  out  afresh,  he  was 
excommunicated  by  Gregory  XI.,  and  in  January,  1373,  he  was 
summoned  to  stand  another  trial  for  heresy  on  March  28.* 

In  the  same  way  heresy  was  the  easiest  charge  to  bring  against 
Cola  di  Kienzo  when  he  disregarded  the  papal  sovereignty  over 
Eome.  When  he  failed  to  obey  the  summons  to  appear  he  was 
duly  excommunicated  for  contumacy ;  the  legate  Giovanni,  Bishop 
of  Spoleto,  held  an  inquisition  on  him,  and  in  1350  he  was  formally 
declared  a  heretic.  The  decision  was  sent  to  the  Emperor  Charles 
IV.,  who  held  him  at  that  time  prisoner  in  Prague,  and  who  duti- 
fully despatched  him  to  Avignon.  There,  on  a  first  examination, 
he  was  condemned  to  death,  but  he  made  his  peace,  and  there  ap- 
peared to  be  an  opportunity  of  using  him  to  advantage  ;  he  was 
therefore  finally  pronounced  a  good  Christian,  and  was  sent  back 
to  Rome  with  a  legate,  f 

The  Maff redi  of  Faenza  afford  a  case  very  similar  to  that  of  the 
Yisconti.  In  1345  we  find  them  in  high  favor  with  Clement  VI. 
In  1350  they  are  opposing  the  papal  policy  of  aggrandizement  in 
Romagnuola.  Cited  to  appear  in  answer  to  charges  of  heresy,  they 
refuse  to  do  so,  and  in  July,  1352,  are  excommunicated  for  contu- 
macy. In  June,  1354,  Innocent  VI.  recites  their  persistent  endur- 
ance of  this  excommunication,  and  gives  them  until  October  10  to 
put  in  an  appearance.  On  that  day  he  condemns  them  as  contu- 
macious heretics,  declares  them  deprived  of  all  lands  and  honors, 
and  subject  to  the  canonical  and  civil  penalties  of  heresy.  To  ex- 
ecute the  sentence  was  not  so  easy,  but  in  1356  Innocent  offered 
Louis,  King  of  Hungary,  who  had  shown  his  zeal  against  the  Ca- 


*  Martene  Thesaur.  II.  743-5.— Wadding,  ann.  1324,  No.  28;  ann.  1326,  No. 
8  ;  ann.  1327,  No.  2.— Ripoll  II.  172  ;  VII.  60.— Regest.  Clement.  PP.  V.,  Romas, 
1885,  T.  I.  Proleg.  p.  ccxiii. — Theiner  Monument.  Hibern.  et  Scotor.  No.  462, 
p.  234.— C.  4,  Septimo  v.  3.— Mag.  Bull.  Rom.  I.  204.— Baluz.  et  Mansi  III.  227.— 
UghellilV.  294-5,  314.—  Raynald.  ann.  1362,  No.  13;  ann.  1363,  No.  2,4;  ann. 
1372,  No.  1 ;  ann.  1373,  No.  10,  12. 

In  spite  of  the  decision  of  Benedict,  Matteo  and  his  sons,  Galeazzo,  Marco,  and 
Stefano,  were  still  unburied  in  1353,  when  the  remaining  brother,  Giovanni,  made 
another  effort  to  secure  Christian  sepulture  for  them.-  -Raynald.  ann.  1353,  No.  28. 

t  Raynald.  ann.  1348,  No.  13-14;  ann  i350,  No.  5.— Muratori  Antiq.  VII. 
884,  928-32. 


204  POLITICAL  HERESY.— THE   CHURCH. 

thari  of  Bosnia,  three  years'  tithe  of  the  Hungarian  churches  if  he 
would  put  down  those  sons  of  damnation,  the  Maflredi,  who  have 
been  sentenced  as  heretics,  and  other  adversaries  of  the  Church, 
including  the  Ordelaffi  of  Friuli.  Fra  Fortanerio,  Patriarch  of 
Grado,  was  also  commissioned  to  preach  a  crusade  against  them, 
and  succeeded  in  raising  an  army  under  Malatesta  of  Rimini.  The 
appearance  of  forty  thousand  Hungarians  in  the  Tarvisina  fright- 
ened all  Italy ;  the  Maffredi  succumbed,  and  in  the  same  year  In- 
nocent ordered  their  absolution  and  reconciliation.* 

It  would  be  easy  to  multiply  instances,  but  these  will  probably 
suffice  to  show  the  use  made  by  the  Church  of  heresy  as  a  politi- 
cal agent,  and  of  the  Inquisition  as  a  convenient  instrumentality 
for  its  application.  When  the  Great  Schism  arose  it  was  natural 
that  the  same  methods  should  be  employed  by  the  rival  popes 
against  each  other.  As  early  as  1382  we  find  Charles  III.  of  Xa- 
ples  confiscating  the  property  of  the  Bishop  of  Trivento,  just  dead, 
as  that  of  a  heretic  because  he  had  adhered  to  Clement  VII.  In 
the  commission  issued  in  1409  by  Alexander  Y.  to  Pons  Feugeyron, 
as  Inquisitor  of  Provence,  the  adherents  of  Gregory  XII.  and  of 
Benedict  XIII.  are  enumerated  among  the  heretics  whom  he  is  to 
exterminate.    It  happened  that  Frere  Etienne  de  Combes,  Inquisi- 


*  Werunsky  Excerptt.  ex  Registt.  Clem.  VI.  et  Innoc.  VI.  pp.  37,  74,  87, 101. — 
Wadding,  aim.  1356,  No.  7,  20.— Raynald.  ann.  1356,  No.  33. 

This  abuse  of  spiritual  power  for  purposes  of  territorial  aggrandizement  did 
not  escape  the  trenchant  satire  of  Erasmus.  He  describes  "  the  terrible  thunder- 
bolt which  by  a  nod  will  send  the  souls  of  mortals  to  the  deepest  hell,  and  which 
the  vicars  of  Christ  discharge  with  special  wrath  on  those  who,  instigated  by  the 
devil,  seek  to  nibble  at  the  Patrimony  of  Peter.  It  is  thus  they  call  the  cities  and 
territories  and  revenues  for  which  they  fight  with  fire  and  sword,  spilling  much 
Christian  blood,  and  they  believe  themselves  to  be  defending  like  apostles  the 
spouse  of  Christ,  the  Church,  by  driving  away  those  whom  they  stigmatize  as 
her  enemies,  as  if  she  could  have  any  worse  enemies  than  impious  pontiffs." — 
Encom.  Moriae.  Ed.  Lipsiens.  1829,  II.  379. 

That  the  character  of  these  papal  wars  had  not  been  softened  since  the  hor- 
rors described  above  at  Ferrara,  is  seen  in  the  massacre  of  Cesena,  in  1376,  when 
the  papal  legate,  Robert,  Cardinal  of  Geneva,  ordered  all  the  inhabitants  put  to 
the  sword,  without  distinction  of  age  or  sex,  after  they  had  admitted  him  and 
his  bandits  into  the  city  under  his  solemn  oath  that  no  injury  should  be  inflicted 
on  them.  The  number  of  the  slain  was  estimated  at  five  thousand. — Poggii 
Hist.  Florentin.  Lib.  h.  ann.  1376. 


JOHN   MALKAW.  205 

tor  of  Toulouse,  held  to  the  party  of  Benedict  XIII. ,  and  he  retali- 
ated by  imprisoning  a  number  of  otherwise  unimpeachable  Domin- 
icans and  Franciscans,  including  the  Provincial  of  Toulouse  and 
the  Prior  of  Carcassonne,  for  which  the  provincial,  as  soon  as  he 
had  an  opportunity,  removed  him  and  appointed  a  successor,  giv- 
ing rise  to  no  little  trouble.* 

The  manner  in  which  the  Inquisition  was  used  as  an  instrument 
by  the  contending  factions  in  the  Church  is  fairly  illustrated  by 
the  adventures  of  John  Malkaw,  of  Prussian  Strassburg  (Brodnitz). 
He  was  a  secular  priest  and  master  of  theology,  deeply  learned, 
skilful  in  debate,  singularly  eloquent,  and  unflinching  even  to  rash- 
ness. Espousing  the  cause  of  the  Roman  popes  against  their 
Avignonese  rivals  with  all  the  enthusiasm  of  his  fiery  nature,  he 
came  to  the  Phinelands  in  1390,  where  his  sermons  stirred  the  pop- 
ular heart  and  proved  an  effective  agency  in  the  strife.  After 
some  severe  experiences  in  Mainz  at  the  hands  of  the  opposite  fac- 
tion, he  undertook  a  pilgrimage  to  Pome,  but  tarried  at  Strassburg, 
where  he  found  a  congenial  field.    The  city  had  adhered  to  Urban 

VI.  and  his  successors,  but  the  bishop,  Frederic  of  Blankenheim, 
had  alienated  a  portion  of  his  clergy  by  his  oppressions.  In  the 
quarrel  he  excommunicated  them;  they  appealed  to  Pome  and 
had  the  excommunication  set  aside,  whereupon  he  went  over,  with 
his  following,  to  Clement  VII.,  the  Avignonese  antipope,  giving 
rise  to  inextricable  confusion.  The  situation  was  exactly  suited  to 
Malkaw's  temperament ;  he  threw  himself  into  the  turmoil,  and 
his  fiery  eloquence  soon  threatened  to  deprive  the  antipapalists  of 
their  preponderance.  According  to  his  own  statement  he  quickly 
won  over  some  sixteen  thousand  schismatics  and  neutrals,  and  the 
nature  of  his  appeals  to  the  passions  of  the  hour  may  be  guessed 
by  his  own  report  of  a  sermon  in  which  he  denounced  Clement 

VII.  as  less  than  a  man,  as  worse  than  the  devil,  whose  portion 
was  with  Antichrist,  while  his  followers  were  all  condemned 
schismatics  and  heretics ;  neutrals,  moreover,  were  the  worst  of 
men  and  were  deprived  of  all  sacraments.  Besides  this  he  assailed 
with  the  same  unsparing  vehemence  the  deplorable  morals  of  the 
Strassburg  clergy,  both  regular  and  secular,  and  in  a  few  weeks  he 


*  MSS.  Chioccarello  T.  VIIL— Wadding,  ann.  1409,  No.  12.— Ripoll  II.  510, 
522,  566. 


206  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE   CHURCH. 

thus  excited  the  bitterest  hostility.  A  plot  was  made  to  denounce 
him  secretly  in  Rome  as  a  heretic,  so  that  on  his  arrival  there  he 
might  be  seized  by  the  Inquisition  and  burned;  his  wonderful 
learning,  it  was  said,  could  only  have  been  acquired  by  necro- 
mancy ;  he  was  accused  of  being  a  runaway  priest,  and  it  was  pro- 
posed to  arrest  him  as  such,  but  the  people  regarded  him  as  an 
inspired  prophet  and  the  project  was  abandoned.  After  four  weeks 
of  this  stormy  agitation  he  resumed  his  pilgrimage,  stopping  at 
Basle  and  Zurich  for  missionary  work,  and  finally  reached  Rome 
in  safety.  On  his  return,  in  crossing  the  Pass  of  St.  Bernard,  he 
had  the  misfortune  to  lose  his  papers.  Xews  of  this  reached  Basle, 
and  on  his  arrival  there  the  Mendicants,  to  whom  he  was  peculiarly 
obnoxious,  demanded  of  Bishop  Imer  that  he  should  be  arrested 
as  a  wanderer  without  license.  The  bishop,  though  belonging  to 
the  Roman  obedience,  yielded,  but  shortly  dismissed  him  with  a 
friendly  caution  to  return  to  his  home.  His  dauntless  combative- 
ness,  however,  carried  him  back  to  Strassburg,  where  he  again 
began  to  preach  under  the  protection  of  the  burgomaster,  John 
Bock.  On  his  previous  visit  he  had  been  personally  threatened 
by  the  Dominican  inquisitor,  Bockeler — the  same  who  in  1400  per- 
secuted the  "Winkelers — and  it  was  now  determined  to  act  with 
vigor.  He  had  preached  but  three  sermons  when  he  was  suddenly 
arrested,  without  citation,  by  the  familiars  of  the  inquisitor  and 
thrown  in  prison,  whence  he  was  carried  in  chains  to  the  episcopal 
castle  of  Benfeld  and  deprived  of  his  books  and  paper  and  ink. 
Sundry  examinations  followed,  in  which  his  rare  dexterity  scarce 
enabled  him  to  escape  the  ingenious  efforts  to  entrap  him.  Finally, 
on  March  31,  1391,  Bockeler  summoned  an  assembly,  consisting 
principally  of  Mendicants,  where  he  was  found  guilty  of  a  series 
of  charges,  which  show  how  easily  the  accusation  of  heresy  could 
be  used  for  the  destruction  of  any  man.  His  real  offence  was  his 
attacks  on  the  schismatics  and  on  the  corruption  of  the  clergy,  but 
nothing  of  this  appears  in  the  articles.  It  was  assumed  that  he 
had  left  his  diocese  without  the  consent  of  his  bishop,  and  this 
proved  him  to  be  a  Lollard ;  that  he  discharged  priestly  functions 
without  a  license,  showing  him  to  be  a  Taudois;  because  his  ad- 
mirers ate  what  he  had  already  bitten,  he  was  declared  to  belong 
to  the  Brethren  of  the  Free  Spirit ;  because  he  forbade  the  dis- 
cussion as  to  whether  Christ  was  alive  when  pierced  with  the 


JOHN    MALKAW.  207 

lance,  he  was  asserted  to  have  taught  that  doctrine,  and,  therefore, 
to  be  a  follower  of  Jean  Pierre  Olivi.  All  this  was  surely  enough 
to  warrant  his  burning,  if  he  should  obstinately  refuse  to  recant, 
but  apparently  it  was  felt  that  the  magistracy  would  decline  to 
execute  the  sentence,  and  the  assembly  contented  itself  with  refer- 
ring the  matter  to  the  bishop  and  asking  his  banishment  from  the 
diocese.  Nothing  further  is  known  of  the  trial,  but  as,  in  1392, 
Malkaw  is  found  matriculating  himself  in  the  University  of  Co- 
logne, the  bishop  probably  did  as  he  was  asked. 

We  lose  sight  of  Malkaw  until  about  1414,  when  we  meet  him 
again  in  Cologne.  He  had  maintained  his  loyalty  to  the  Roman 
obedience,  but  that  obedience  had  been  still  further  fractioned 
between  Gregory  XII.  and  John  XXIII.  Malkaw's  support  of 
the  former  was  accompanied  with  the  same  unsparing  denuncia- 
tion of  John  as  he  had  formerly  bestowed  on  the  Avignonese 
antipopes.  The  Johannites  were  heretics,  fit  only  for  the  stake. 
Cologne  was  as  attractive  a  field  for  the  audacious  polemic  as  the 
Strassburg  of  a  quarter  of  a  century  earlier.  Two  rival  candi- 
dates for  the  archbishopric  were  vindicating  their  claims  in  a 
bloody  civil  war,  one  of  them  as  a  supporter  of  Gregory,  the  other 
of  John.  Malkaw  was  soon  recognized  as  a  man  whose  eloquence 
was  highly  dangerous  amid  an  excitable  population,  and  again  the 
Inquisition  took  hold  of  him  as  a  heretic.  The  inquisitor,  Jacob 
of  Soest,  a  Dominican  and  professor  in  the  university,  seems  to 
have  treated  him  with  exceptional  leniency,  for  while  the  investi- 
gation was  on  foot  he  was  allowed  to  remain  in  the  St.  Ursula 
quarter,  on  parole.  He  broke  his  word  and  betook  himself  to 
Bacharach,  where,  under  the  protection  of  the  Archbishop  of  Treves, 
and  of  the  Palsgrave  Louis  III.,  both  Gregorians,  he  maintained 
the  fight  with  his  customary  vehemence,  assailing  the  inquisitor 
and  the  Johannites,  not  only  in  sermons,  but  in  an  incessant 
stream  of  pamphlets  which  kept  them  in  a  state  of  indignant 
alarm.  When  Cardinal  John  of  Ragusa,  Gregory's  legate  to  the 
Council  of  Constance,  came  to  Germany,  Malkaw  had  no  difficulty 
in  procuring  from  him  absolution  from  the  inquisitorial  excom- 
munication, and  acquittal  of  the  charge  of  heresy ;  and  this  was 
confirmed  when  on  healing  the  schism  the  council,  in  July,  1415, 
declared  null  and  void  all  prosecutions  and  sentences  arising  from 
it.    Still,  the  wounded  pride  of  the  inquisitor  and  of  the  University 


208  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE    CHURCH. 

of  Cologne  refused  to  be  placated,  and  for  a  year  they  continued 
to  seek  from  the  Council  the  condemnation  of  their  enemy.  Their 
deputies,  however,  warned  them  that  the  prosecution  would  be 
prolonged,  difficult,  and  costly,  and  they  finally  came  to  the  resolu- 
tion that  the  action  of  the  Cardinal  of  Ragusa  should  be  regarded 
as  binding,  so  long  as  Malkaw  kept  away  from  the  territory  of 
Cologne,  but  should  be  disregarded  if  he  ventured  to  return — a 
very  sensible,  if  somewhat  illogical,  conclusion.  The  obstinacy 
with  which  Benedict  XIII.  and  Clement  VIII.  maintained  their 
position  after  the  decision  of  the  Council  of  Constance  prolonged 
the  struggle  in  southwestern  Europe,  and  as  late  as  1428  the  rem- 
nants of  their  adherents  in  Languedoc  were  proceeded  against  as 
heretics  by  a  special  papal  commissioner.* 

When  the  schism  was  past  the  Inquisition  could  still  be  util- 
ized to  quell  insubordination.  Thomas  Connecte,  a  Carmelite  of 
Britanny,  seems  to  have  been  a  character  somewhat  akin  to  John 
Malkaw.  In  142 S  we  hear  of  him  in  Flanders,  Artois,  Picardy, 
and  the  neighboring  provinces,  preaching  to  crowds  of  fifteen  or 
twenty  thousand  souls,  denouncing  the  prevalent  vices  of  the  time. 
The  hennins,  or  tall  head-dresses  worn  by  women  of  rank,  were 
the  object  of  special  vituperation,  and  he  used  to  give  boys  certain 
days  of  pardon  for  following  ladies  thus  attired,  and  crying  "  au 
Jiennin"  or  even  slyly  pulling  them  off.  Moved  by  the  eloquence 
of  his  sermons,  great  piles  would  be  made  of  dice,  tables,  chess- 
boards, cards,  nine-pins,  head-dresses,  and  other  matters  of  vice 
and  luxury,  which  were  duly  burned.  The  chief  source,  however, 
of  the  immense  popular  favor  which  he  enjoyed  was  his  bitter 
lashing  of  the  corruption  of  all  ranks  of  the  clergy,  particularly 
their  public  concubinage,  which  won  him  great  applause  and 
honor.  He  seems  to  have  reached  the  conclusion  that  the  only 
cure  for  this  universal  sin  was  the  restoration  of  clerical  marriage. 
In  1432  he  went  to  Home  in  the  train  of  the  Venetian  ambassa- 
dors, to  declaim  against  the  vices  of  the  curia.  Usually  there  was 
a  good-natured  indifference  to  these  attacks — a  toleration  born  of 
contempt — but  the  moment  was  unpropitious.  The  Hussite  heresy 
had  commenced  in  similar  wise,  and  its  persistence  was  a  warning 


*  H.  Haupt,  Zeitschrift  fur  Kirchengeschichte,  1883,  pp.  323  sqq. — Vaissette, 
fid.  Privat,  X.  Pr.  2089. 


THOMAS    CONNECTE.  209 

not  to  be  disregarded.  Besides,  at  that  time  Eugenius  IV.  was 
engaged  in  a  losing  struggle  with  the  Council  of  Basle,  which  was 
bent  on  reforming  the  curia,  in  obedience  to  the  universal  demand 
of  Christendom,  and  Sigismund's  envoys  were  representing  to 
Eugenius,  with  more  strength  than  courtliness,  the  disastrous  re- 
sults to  be  expected  from  his  efforts  to  prorogue  the  council. 
Connecte  might  well  be  suspected  of  being  an  emissary  of  the 
fathers  of  Basle,  or,  if  not,  his  eloquence  at  least  was  a  dangerous 
element  in  the  perturbed  state  of  public  opinion.  Twice  Eugenius 
sent  for  him,  but  he  refused  to  come,  pretending  to  be  sick ;  then 
the  papal  treasurer  was  sent  to  fetch  him,  but  on  his  appearing 
Thomas  jumped  out  of  the  window  and  attempted  to  escape.  He 
was  promptly  secured  and  carried  before  Eugenius,  who  commis- 
sioned the  Cardinals  of  Rouen  and  Navarre  to  examine  him.  These 
found  him  suspect  of  heresy ;  he  was  duly  tried  and  condemned 
as  a  heretic,  and  his  inconsiderate  zeal  found  a  lasting  quietus  at 
the  stake.* 

There  are  certain  points  of  resemblance  between  Thomas  Con- 
necte and  Girolamo  Savonarola,  but  the  Italian  was  a  man  of  far 
rarer  intellectual  and  spiritual  gifts  than  the  Breton.  With  equal 
moral  earnestness,  his  plans  and  aspirations  were  wider  and  of 
more  dangerous  import,  and  they  led  him  into  a  sphere  of  political 
activity  in  which  his  fate  was  inevitable  from  the  beginning. 

In  Italy  the  revival  of  letters,  while  elevating  the  intellectual 
faculties,  had  been  accompanied  with  deeper  degradation  in  both 
the  moral  and  spiritual  condition  of  society.  Without  removing 
superstition,  it  had  rendered  scepticism  fashionable,  and  it  had 
weakened  the  sanctions  of  religion  without  supplying  another 
basis  for  morality.  The  world  has  probably  never  seen  a  more 
defiant  disregard  of  all  law,  human  and  divine,  than  that  dis- 
played by  both  the  Church  and  the  laity  during  the  pontificates 
of  Sixtus  IV.  and  Innocent  VIII.  and  Alexander  VI.  Increase 
of  culture  and  of  wealth  seemed  only  to  afford  new  attractions 
and  enlarged  opportunities  for  luxury  and  vice,  and  from  the 
highest  to  the  lowest  there  was  indulgence  of  unbridled  appetites, 


*  Monstrelet,  II.  53,  127.— Martene  Auapi.  Coll.  VIII.  92.— Altmeyer,  Pr6cur 
seurs  de  la  Reforme  aux  Pays-Bas,  I.  237. 
III.— 14 


210  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE    CHURCH. 

with  a  cynical  disregard  even  of  hypocrisy.  To  the  earnest  be- 
liever it  might  well  seem  that  God's  wrath  could  not  much  longer 
be  restrained,  and  that  calamities  must  be  impending  which  would 
sweep  away  the  wicked  and  restore  to  the  Church  and  to  man- 
kind the  purity  and  simplicity  fondly  ascribed  to  primitive  ages. 
For  centuries  a  succession  of  prophets — Joachim  of  Flora,  St. 
Catharine  of  Siena,  St.  Birgitta  of  Sweden,  the  Friends  of  God, 
Tommasino  of  Foligno,  the  Monk  Telesforo — had  arisen  with  pre- 
dictions which  had  been  received  with  reverence,  and  as  time 
passed  on  and  human  wickedness  increased,  some  new  messenger 
of  God  seemed  necessarv  to  recall  his  erring  children  to  a  sense  of 
the  retribution  in  store  for  them  if  they  should  continue  deaf  to 
his  voice. 

That  Savonarola  honestly  believed  himself  called  to  such  a 
mission,  no  one  who  has  impartially  studied  his  strange  career  can 
well  doubt.  His  lofty  sense  of  the  evils  of  the  time,  his  profound 
conviction  that  God  must  interfere  to  work  a  change  which  was 
beyond  human  power,  his  marvellous  success  in  moving  his  hearers, 
his  habits  of  solitude  and  of  profound  meditation,  his  frequent 
ecstasies  with  their  resultant  visions  might  well,  in  a  mind  like  his, 
produce  such  a  belief,  which,  moreover,  was  one  taught  by  the  re- 
ceived traditions  of  the  Church  as  within  the  possibilities  of  the 
experience  of  any  man.  Five  years  before  his  first  appearance  in 
Florence,  a  young  hermit  who  had  been  devotedly  serving  in  a 
leper  hospital  at  Volterra,  came  thither,  preaching  and  predicting 
the  wrath  to  come.  He  had  had  visions  of  St.  John  and  the  angel 
Raphael,  and  was  burdened  with  a  message  to  unwilling  ears. 
Such  things,  we  are  told  by  the  diarist  who  happens  to  record 
this,  were  occurring  every  day.  In  1491  Rome  was  agitated  by  a 
mysterious  prophet  who  foretold  dire  calamities  impending  in  the 
near  future.  There  was  no  lack  of  such  earnest  men,  but,  unlike 
Savonarola,  their  influence  and  their  fate  were  not  such  as  to  pre- 
serve their  memory.* 


*  Burlaraacchi,  Vita  di  Savonarola  (Baluz.  et  Mansi  I.  533-542). — Luca  Lan- 
ducci.,  Diario  Fiorentino,  Firenze,  1883,  p.  30. — Stepb.  Infessurae  Diar.  (Eccard. 
Corp.  Hist.  Med.  ^Evi  II.  2000). 

Villari  shows  (La  Storia  di  Gir.  Savonarola,  Firenze,  1887,  I.  pp.  viii.-xi.) 
that  the  life  which  passes  under  the  name  of  Burlamacchi  is  a  rifacimento  of  an 
imprinted  Latin  biography  by  a  disciple  of  Savonarola.     I  take  this  opportunity 


SAVONAROLA.  211 

When,  in  his  thirtieth  year,  Savonarola  came  to  Florence,  in 
1481,  his  soul  was  already  full  of  his  mission  as  a  reformer.  Such 
opportunity  as  he  had  of  expressing  his  convictions  from  the  pul- 
pit he  used  with  earnest  zeal,  but  he  produced  little  effect  upon  a 
community  sunk  in  shameless  debauchery,  and  in  the  Lent  of  1486 
he  was  sent  to  Lombardy.  For  three  years  he  preached  in  the 
Lombard  cities,  gradually  acquiring  the  power  of  touching  the 
hearts  and  consciences  of  men,  and  when  he  was  recalled  to  Flor- 
ence in  1489,  at  the  instance  of  Lorenzo  de'  Medici,  he  was  already 
known  as  a  preacher  of  rare  ability.  The  effect  of  his  vigorous 
eloquence  was  enhanced  by  his  austere  and  blameless  life,  and 
within  a  year  he  was  made  Prior  of  San  Marco — the  convent  of  the 
Observantine  Dominicans,  to  which  Order  he  belonged.  In  1494  he 
succeeded  in  re-establishing  the  ancient  separation  of  the  Domini- 
can province  of  Tuscany  from  that  of  Lombardy,  and  when  he  was 
appointed  Yicar-general  of  the  former  he  was  rendered  indepen- 
dent of  all  authority  save  that  of  the  general,  Giovacchino  Torriani, 
who  was  well  affected  towards  him.* 

He  claimed  to  act  under  the  direct  inspiration  of  God,  who 
dictated  his  words  and  actions  and  revealed  to  him  the  secrets  of 
the  future.  Not  only  was  this  accepted  by  the  mass  of  the  Floren- 
tines, but  by  some  of  the  keenest  and  most  cultured  intellects  of 
the  age,  such  as  Francesco  Pico  della  Mirandola  and  Philippe  de 
Commines.  Marsilio  Ficino,  the  Platonist,  admitted  it,  and  went 
further  by  declaring,  in  1494,  that  only  Savonarola's  holiness  had 
saved  Florence  for  four  years  from  the  vengeance  of  God  on  its 
wickedness.  Nardi  relates  that  when,  in  1495,  Piero  de'  Medici  was 
making  a  demonstration  upon  Florence,  he  personally  heard  Savon- 
arola predict  that  Piero  would  advance  to  the  gates  and  retire  with- 
out accomplishing  anything,  which  duly  came  to  pass.  Others  of 
his  prophecies  were  fulfilled,  such  as  those  of  the  deaths  of  Lorenzo 
de'  Medici  and  Charles  VIII.  and  the  famine  of  1497,  and  his  fame 
spread  throughout  Italy,  while  in  Florence  his  influence  became 

of  expressing  my  thanks  to  Signore  Villari,  for  his  kindly  courtesy  in  furnishing 
me  with  the  second  volume  of  the  new  edition  of  his  classical  work  in  advance 
of  publication.  My  obligations  to  it  will  be  seen  in  the  numerous  references 
made  to  it  below. 

*  Processo  Autentico  (Baluz.  et  Mansi  IV.  529,  551).— Burlamacchi  (Baluz. 
et  Mansi  I.  534-5,  541-2).— Villari,  op.  cit.  Lib.  i.  c.  5,  9. 


212  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE    CHURCH. 

dominant.  Whenever  he  preached,  from  twelve  to  fifteen  thou- 
sand persons  hung  upon  his  lips,  and  in  the  great  Duomo  of  Santa 
Maria  del  Fiore  it  was  necessary  to  build  scaffolds  and  benches 
to  accommodate  the  thronging  crowds,  multitudes  of  whom  would 
have  cast  themselves  into  fire  at  a  word  from  him.  He  paid  special 
attention  to  children,  and  interested  them  so  deeply  in  his  work 
that  we  are  told  they  could  not  be  kept  in  bed  on  the  mornings 
when  he  preached,  but  would  hurry  to  the  church  in  advance  of 
their  parents.  In  the  processions  which  he  organized  sometimes 
five  or  six  thousand  boys  would  take  part,  and  he  used  them  most 
effectively  in  the  moral  reforms  Avhich  he  introduced  in  the  disso- 
lute and  pleasure-loving  city.  The  boys  of  Fra  Girolamo  were  regu- 
larly organized,  with  officers  who  had  their  several  spheres  of  duty 
assigned  to  them,  and  they  became  a  terror  to  evil-doers.  They 
entered  the  taverns  and  gambling-houses  and  put  a  stop  to  revelry 
and  dicing  and  card-playing,  and  no  woman  dared  to  appear  upon 
the  streets  save  in  fitting  attire  and  with  a  modest  mien.  "  Here 
are  the  boys  of  the  Frate"  was  a  cry  which  inspired  fear  in  the 
most  reckless,  for  any  resistance  to  them  was  at  the  risk  of  life. 
Even  the  annual  horse-races  of  Santo-Barnabo  were  suppressed, 
and  it  was  a  sign  of  Girolamo's  waning  influence  when,  in  1497, 
the  Signoria  ordered  them  resumed,  saying,  "  Are  we  all  to  become 
monks?"  From  the  gayest  and  wickedest  of  cities  Florence  be- 
came the  most  demure,  and  the  pious  long  looked  back  with  regret 
to  the  holy  time  of  Savonarola's  rule,  and  thanked  God  that  they 
had  been  allowed  to  see  it." 

In  one  respect  we  may  regret  his  puritanism  and  the  zeal  of 
his  boys.  For  the  profane  mummeries  of  the  carnival  in  1498  he 
substituted  a  bonfire  of  objects  which  he  deemed  immodest  or 
improper,  and  the  voluntary  contributions  for  this  purpose  were 
supplemented  by  the  energy  of  the  boys,  who  entered  houses  and 
palaces  and  carried  off  whatever  they  deemed  fit  for  the  holocaust. 
Precious  illuminated  MSS.,  ancient  sculptures,  pictures,  rare  tapes- 
tries, and  priceless  works  of  art  thus  were  mingled  with  the  gew- 


*  Landucci,  op.  cit.  pp.  72,  88,  94,  103,  108,  109,  123-8,  154.— Meraoires  de 
Commines  Liv.  viii.  c.  19. — Marsilii  Ficini  opp.  Ed.  1561, 1.  963. — Nardi,  Historie 
Florentine,  Lib.  n.  (Ed.  15T4,  pp.  58.  60). — Perrens,  Jerome  Savonarole,  p.  342. — 
Burlamacchi  (loc.  cit.  pp.  544-6,  552-3,  556-7). 


SAVONAROLA. 


213 


gaws  and  vanities  of  female  attire,  the  mirrors,  the  musical  instru- 
ments, the  books  of  divination,  astrology,  and  magic,  which  went 
to  make  up  the  total.  We  can  understand  the  sacrifice  of  copies 
of  Boccaccio,  but  Petrarch  might  have  escaped  even  Savonarola's 
severity  of  virtue.  In  this  ruthless  auto  defe,  the  value  of  the 
objects  was  such  that  a  Venetian  merchant  offered  the  Signoria 
twenty  thousand  scudi  for  them,  which  was  answered  by  taking 
the  would-be  chapman's  portrait  and  placing  it  on  top  of  the  pyre. 
We  cannot  wonder  that  the  pile  had  to  be  surrounded  the  night 
before  by  armed  guards  to  prevent  the  tiepidi  from  robbing  it.* 

Had  Savonarola's  lot  been  cast  under  the  rigid  institutions  of 
feudalism  he  would  probably  have  exercised  a  more  lasting  influ- 
ence on  the  moral  and  religious  character  of  the  age.  It  was  his 
misfortune  that  in  a  republic  such  as  Florence  the  temptation  to 
take  part  in  politics  was  irresistible.  We  cannot  wonder  that  he 
eagerly  embraced  what  seemed  to  be  an  opportunity  of  regener- 
ating a  powerful  state,  through  which  he  might  not  unreasonably 
hope  to  influence  all  Italy,  and  thus  effect  a  reform  in  Church  and 
State  which  would  renovate  Christendom.  This,  as  he  was  assured 
by  the  prophetic  voice  within  him,  would  be  followed  by  the  con- 
version of  the  infidel,  and  the  reign  of  Christian  charity  and  love 
would  commence  throughout  the  world. 

Misled  by  these  dazzling  day-dreams,  he  had  no  scruple  in 
making  a  practical  use  of  the  almost  boundless  influence  which  he 
had  acquired  over  the  populace  of  Florence.  His  teachings  led  to 
the  revolution  which  in  1494  expelled  the  Medici,  and  he  humanely 
averted  the  pitiless  bloodshed  which  commonly  accompanied  such 
movements  in  the  Italian  cities.  During  the  Neapolitan  expedi- 
tion of  Charles  VIII.,  in  1494,  he  did  much  to  cement  the  alliance 
of  the  republic  with  that  monarch,  whom  he  regarded  as  the 
instrument  destined  by  God  to  bring  about  the  reform  of  Italy. 
In  the  reconstruction  of  the  republic  in  the  same  year  he  had,  per- 
haps, more  to  do  than  any  one  else,  both  in  framing  its  structure 
and  dictating  its  laws ;  and  when  he  induced  the  people  to  pro- 
claim Jesus  Christ  as  the  King  of  Florence,  he  perhaps  himself 
hardly  recognized  how,  as  the  mouthpiece  of  God,  he  was  inevi- 
tably assuming  the  position  of  a  dictator.     It  was  not  only  in  the 

*  Landucci,  p.  163.— Burlamacchi,  pp.  558-9.— Nardi,  Lib.  n.  pp.  56-7. 


214  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE    CHURCH. 

pulpit  that  he  instructed  his  auditors  as  to  their  duties  as  citizens 
and  gave  vent  to  his  inspiration  in  foretelling  the  result,  for  the 
leaders  of  the  popular  party  were  constantly  in  the  habit  of  seek- 
ing his  advice  and  obeying  his  wishes.  Yet,  personally,  for  the 
most  part,  he  held  himself  aloof  in  austere  retirement,  and  left  the 
management  of  details  to  two  confidential  agents,  selected  anions: 
the  friars  of  San  Marco — Domenico  da  Pescia,  who  was  some- 
what hot-headed  and  impulsive,  and  Salvestro  Maruffi,  who  was  a 
dreamer  and  somnambulist.  In  thus  descending  from  the  position 
of  a  prophet  of  God  to  that  of  the  head  of  a  faction,  popularly 
known  by  the  contemptuous  name  of  Piagnoni  or  Mourners,  he 
staked  his  all  upon  the  continued  supremacy  of  that  faction,  and 
any  failure  in  his  political  schemes  necessarily  was  fatal  to  the 
larger  and  nobler  plans  of  which  they  were  the  unstable  founda- 
tion. In  addition  to  this,  his  resolute  adherence  to  the  alliance 
with  Charles  VIII.  finally  made  his  removal  necessary  to  the  suc- 
cess of  the  policy  of  Alexander  VI.  to  unite  all  the  Italian  states 
against  the  dangers  of  another  French  invasion.* 

As  though  to  render  failure  certain,  under  a  rule  dating  from 
the  thirteenth  century,  the  Signoria  was  changed  every  two 
months,  and  thus  reflected  every  passing  gust  of  popular  passion. 
'When  the  critical  time  came  evervthing  turned  against  him. 
The  alliance  with  France,  on  which  he  had  staked  his  credit  both 
as  a  statesman  and  a  prophet,  resulted  disastrously.  Charles  YIII. 
was  glad  at  Fornovo  to  cut  his  way  back  to  France  with  shattered 
forces,  and  he  never  returned,  in  spite  of  the  threats  of  God's  wrath 
which  Savonarola  repeatedly  transmitted  to  him.  He  not  only 
left  Florence  isolated  to  face  the  league  of  Spain,  the  papacy, 
Yenice,  and  Milan,  but  he  disappointed  the  dearest  wish  of  the 
Florentines  by  violating  his  pledge  to  restore  to  them  the  strong- 
hold of  Pisa.  When  the  news  of  this  reached  Florence,  Januarv 
1, 1496,  the  incensed  populace  held  Savonarola  responsible,  and  a 
crowd  around  San  Marco  at  night  amused  itself  with  loud  threats 
to  burn  "  the  great  hog  of  a  Frate."  Besides  this  was  the  severe 
distress  occasioned  bv  the  shrinking  of  trade  and  commerce  in  the 
civic  disturbances,  by  the  large  subsidies  paid  to  Charles  YIII.,  and 


*  Villari,  Lib.  n.  cap.  iv.  v.;  T.  II.  App.  p.  ccxx. — Landucci,  pp.  92-4, 112. — 
Processo  Autentico  (Baluze  et  Mansi  IV.  531,  554,  558). 


SAVONAROLA.  215 

by  the  drain  of  the  Pisan  war,  leading  to  insupportable  taxation 
and  the  destruction  of  public  credit,  to  all  which  was  added  the 
fearful  famine  of  1497,  followed  by  pestilence ;  such  a  succession 
of  misfortunes  naturally  made  the  unthinking  masses  dissatisfied 
and  ready  for  a  change.  The  Arrabbiati,  or  faction  in  opposition, 
were  not  slow  to  take  advantage  of  this  revulsion  of  feeling,  and 
in  this  they  were  supported  by  the  dangerous  classes  and  by 
all  those  on  whom  the  puritan  reform  had  pressed  heavily.  An 
association  was  formed,  known  as  the  Compagnacci,  composed  of 
reckless  and  dissolute  young  nobles  and  their  retainers,  with  Doffo 
Spini  at  their  head  and  the  powerful  house  of  Altoviti  behind 
them,  whose  primary  object  was  Savonarola's  destruction,  and 
who  were  ready  to  resort  to  desperate  measures  at  the  first  favor- 
able opportunity.* 

Such  opportunity  could  not  fail  to  come.  Had  Savonarola 
contented  himself  with  simply  denouncing  the  corruptions  of  the 
Church  and  the  curia  he  would  have  been  allowed  to  exhale  his 
indignation  in  safety,  as  St.  Birgitta,  Chancellor  Gerson,  Cardinal 
d'Ailly,  Nicholas  de  Clemangis,  and  so  many  others  among  the 
most  venerated  ecclesiastics  had  done.  Pope  and  cardinal  Avere 
used  to  reviling,  and  endured  it  with  the  utmost  good-nature,  so 
long  as  profitable  abuses  were  not  interfered  with,  but  Savonarola 
had  made  himself  a  political  personage  of  importance/  whose  in- 
fluence at  Florence  was  hostile  to  the  policy  of  the  Borgias.  Still, 
Alexander  VI.  treated  him  with  good-natured  indifference  which 
for  a  while  almost  savored  of  contempt.  When  at  last  his  im- 
portance was  recognized,  an  attempt  was  made  to  bribe  him  with 
the  archbishopric  of  Florence  and  the  cardinalate,  but  the  offer 
was  spurned  with  prophetic  indignation — "  I  want  no  hat  but  that 
of  martyrdom,  reddened  with  my  own  blood  I"  It  was  not  till 
July  21,  1495,  after  Charles  VIII.  had  abandoned  Italy  and  left 
the  Florentines  to  face  single-handed  the  league  of  which  the 
papacy  was  the  head,  that  any  antagonism  was  manifested  tow- 
ards him,  and  then  it  assumed  the  form  of  a  friendly  summons  to 
Rome  to  give  an  account  of  the  revelations  and  prophecies  which 
he  had  from  God.     To  this  he  replied,  July  31,  excusing  himself 


*  Landucci,  pp.  110, 112, 122. — Villari,  I.  473. — Mgmoires  de  Commines,  Liv. 
vin.  ch.  19.—  Processo  Autentico  (loc.  cit.  pp.  524,  541).— Perrens,  p.  342. 


216  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE  CHURCH. 

on  the  ground  of  severe  fever  and  dysentery ;  the  republic,  more- 
over, would  not  permit  him  to  leave  its  territories  for  fear  of  his 
enemies,  as  his  life  had  already  been  attempted  by  both  poison  and 
steel,  and  he  never  quitted  his  convent  without  a  guard ;  besides, 
the  unfinished  reforms  in  the  city  required  his  presence.  As  soon 
as  possible,  however,  he  would  come  to  Rome,  and  meanwhile  the 
pope  would  find  what  he  wanted  in  a  book  now  printing,  contain- 
ing his  prophecies  on  the  renovation  of  the  Church  and  the  de- 
struction of  Italy,  a  copy  of  which  would  be  submitted  to  the  holy 
father  as  soon  as  ready. * 

However  lightly  Savonarola  might  treat  this  missive,  it  was  a 
warning  not  to  be  disregarded,  and  for  a  while  he  ceased  preaching. 
Suddenly,  on  September  8,  Alexander  returned  to  the  charge  with 
a  bull  intrusted  to  the  rival  Franciscans  of  Santa  Croce,  in  which  he 
ordered  the  reunion  of  the  Tuscan  congregation  with  the  Lombard 
province ;  Savonarola's  case  was  submitted  to  the  Lombard  Yicar 
general,  Sebastiano  de  Madiis  ;  Domenico  da  Pescia  and  Salvestro 
Maruffi  were  required  within  eight  days  to  betake  themselves  to 
Bologna,  and  Savonarola  was  commanded  to  cease  preaching  until 
he  should  present  himself  in  Rome.  To  this  Savonarola  replied 
September  29,  in  a  labored  justification,  objecting  to  Sebastiano  as 
a  prejudiced  and  suspected  judge,  and  winding  up  with  a  request 
that  the  pope  should  point  out  any  errors  in  his  teaching,  which 
he  would  at  once  revoke,  and  submit  whatever  he  had  spoken  or 
written  to  the  judgment  of  the  Holy  See.  Almost  immediately 
after  this  the  enterprise  of  Piero  de'  Medici  against  Florence  ren- 
dered it  impossible  for  him  to  keep  silent,  and,  without  awaiting 
the  papal  answer,  on  October  11  he  ascended  the  pulpit  and  ve- 
hemently exhorted  the  people  to  unite  in  resisting  the  tyrant. 
In  spite  of  this  insubordination  Alexander  was  satisfied  with  Sa- 
vonarola's nominal  submission,  and  on  October  16  replied,  merely 
ordering  him  to  preach  no  more  in  public  or  in  private  until  he 
could  conveniently  come  to  Rome,  or  a  fitting  person  be  sent  to 
Florence  to  decide  his  case  ;  if  he  obeyed,  then  all  the  papal  briefs 
were  suspended.  To  Alexander  the  whole  affair  was  simply  one 
of  politics.     The  position  of  Florence  under  Savonarola's  influence 


*  Guicciardini  Lib.  in.  c.  6. — Burlamacchi,  p.  551. — Villari,  T.  I.  pp.  civ.-cvii. 
-Landucci,  p.  106. 


SAVONAROLA.  217 

was  hostile  to  his  designs,  but  he  did  not  care  to  push  the  matter 
further,  provided  he  could  diminish  the  Frate's  power  by  silencing 
him.* 

His  voice,  however,  was  too  potent  a  factor  in  Florentine  af- 
fairs for  his  friends  in  power  to  consent  to  his  silence.  Long  and 
earnest  efforts  were  made  to  obtain  permission  from  the  pope  that 
he  should  resume  his  exhortations  during  the  coming  Lent,  and 
at  length  the  request  was  granted.  The  sermons  on  Amos  which 
he  then  delivered  were  not  of  a  character  to  placate  the  curia,  for, 
besides  lashing  its  vices  with  terrible  earnestness,  he  took  pains  to 
indicate  that  there  were  limits  to  the  obedience  which  he  would 
render  to  the  papal  commands.  These  sermons  produced  an  im- 
mense sensation,  not  only  in  Florence,  but  throughout  Italy,  and 
on  Easter  Sunday,  April  3,  1496,  Alexander  assembled  fourteen 
Dominican  masters  of  theology,  to  whom  he  denounced  their  auda- 
cious comrade  as  heretical,  schismatic,  disobedient,  and  superstitious. 
It  was  admitted  that  he  was  responsible  for  the  misfortunes  of 
Piero  de'  Medici,  and  it  was  resolved,  with  but  one  dissentient  voice, 
that  means  must  be  found  to  silence  him.f 

Notwithstanding  this  he  continued,  without  interference,  to 
preach  at  intervals  until  November  2.  Even  then  it  is  a  signifi- 
cant tribute  to  his  power  that  Alexander  again  had  recourse  to 
indirect  means  to  suppress  him.  On  November  7,  1496,  a  papal 
brief  was  issued  creating  a  congregation  of  Rome  and  Tuscany 
and  placing  it  under  a  Vicar-general  who  was  to  serve  for  two 
years,  and  be  ineligible  to  reappointment  except  after  an  interval. 
Although  the  first  Vicar-general  was  Giacomo  di  Sicilia,  a  friend 
of  Savonarola,  the  measure  was  ingeniously  framed  to  deprive  him 
of  independence,  and  he  might  at  any  moment  be  transferred  from 
Florence  to  another  post.  To  this  Savonarola  replied  with  open 
defiance.  In  a  printed  "Apologia  della  Congregazione  di  San 
Marco"  he  declared  that  the  two  hundred  and  fifty  friars  of  his 
convent  would  resist  to  the  death,  in  spite  of  threats  and  excom- 
munication, a  measure  which  would  result  in  the  perdition  of  their 
souls.     This  was  a  declaration  of  open  war,  and  on  November  26 


*  Villari,  I.  402-7.  —  Landucci,  p.  120.  —  Diar.  Johann.  Burchardi  (Eccard, 
Corp.  Hist.  II.  2151-9). 

t  Villari,  I.  417,  441-5.— Landucci,  pp.  125-9.— Perrens,  p.  361. 


21S  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE    CHURCH. 

he  boldly  resumed  preaching.  The  series  of  sermons  on  Ezekiel, 
which  he  then  commenced  and  continued  through  the  Lent  of 
1497,  shows  clearly  that  he  had  abandoned  all  hope  of  reconcilia- 
tion with  the  pope.  The  Church  was  worse  than  a  beast,  it  was 
an  abominable  monster  which  must  be  purified  and  renovated  by 
the  servants  of  God,  and  in  this  work  excommunication  was  to  be 
welcomed.  To  a  great  extent,  moreover,  these  sermons  were  politi- 
cal speeches,  and  indicate  how  absolutely  Savonarola  from  the 
pulpit  dictated  the  municipal  affairs  of  Florence.  The  city  had 
been  reduced  almost  to  despair  in  the  unequal  contest  with  Pisa, 
Milan,  Venice,  and  the  papacy,  but  the  close  of  the  year  1496  had 
brought  some  unexpected  successes  which  seemed  to  justify  Sa- 
vonarola's exhortations  to  trust  in  God,  and  with  the  reviving 
hopes  of  the  republic  his  credit  was  to  some  extent  restored.* 

Still  Alexander,  though  his  wrath  was  daily  growing,  shrank 
from  an  open  rupture  and  trial  of  strength,  and  an  effort  was  made 
to  utilize  against  Savonarola  the  traditional  antagonism  of  the 
Franciscans.  The  Observantine  convent  of  San  Miniato  was  made 
the  centre  of  operations,  and  thither  were  sent  the  most  renowned 
preachers  of  the  Order — Domenico  da  Poza,  Michele  d'  Aquis, 
Giovanni  Tedesco,  Giacopo  da  Brescia,  and  Francesco  della  Puglia. 
It  is  true  that  when,  January  1, 1497,  the  Piagnoni,  strengthened 
by  recent  successes  in  the  field,  elected  Francesco  Yalori  as  Gon- 
faloniero  di  Giustizia,  he  endeavored  to  stop  the  Franciscans  from 
preaching,  prohibited  them  from  begging  bread  and  wine  and 
necessaries,  and  boasted  that  he  would  starve  them  out,  and  one 
of  them  was  absolutely  banished  from  the  city,  but  the  others  per- 
severed, and  Savonarola  was  freely  denounced  as  an  impostor  from 
the  pulpit  of  Santo-Spirito  during  Lent.  Yet  this  had  no  effect 
upon  his  followers,  and  his  audiences  were  larger  and  more  enthu- 
siastic than  ever.  Xo  better  success  awaited  a  nun  of  S.  Maria 
di  Casignano,  who  came  to  Florence  on  the  same  errand.f 

The  famine  was  now  at  its  height,  and  pestilence  became 
threatening.  The  latter  gave  the  Signoria,  which  was  now  com- 
posed of  Arrabbiati,  an  excuse  for  putting  a  stop  to  this  pulpit  war- 
fare, which  doubtless  menaced  the  peace  of  the  city,  and  on  May  3 


•  Villari,  I.  489,  492-4,  496, 499,  cxlii. ;  II.  4-6. 

t  Processo  Autentico,  pp.  533-4. — Perrens,  pp.  189-90. — Landucci,  pp.  144-6. 


SAVONAROLA.  219 

all  preaching  after  Ascension  Day  (May  4)  was  forbidden  for  the 
reason  that,  with  the  approach  of  summer,  crowds  would  facilitate 
the  dissemination  of  the  plague.  That  passions  were  rising  beyond 
control  was  shown  when,  the  next  day,  Savonarola  preached  his 
farewell  sermon  in  the  Duomo.  The  doors  had  been  broken  open 
in  advance,  and  the  pulpit  was  smeared  with  filth.  The  Com- 
pagnacci  had  almost  openly  made  preparations  to  kill  him ;  they 
gathered  there  in  force,  and  interrupted  the  discourse  with  a  tu- 
mult, during  which  the  Frate's  friends  gathered  around  him  with 
drawn  swords  and  conveyed  him  away  in  safety.* 

The  affair  made  an  immense  sensation  throughout  Italy,  and 
the  sympathies  of  the  Signoria  were  shown  by  the  absence  of  any 
attempt  to  punish  the  rioters.  Encouraged  by  this  evidence  of  the 
weakness  of  the  Piagnoni,  on  May  13  Alexander  sent  to  the  Fran- 
ciscans a  bull  ordering  them  to  publish  Savonarola  as  excommuni- 
cate and  suspect  of  heresy,  and  that  no  one  should  hold  converse 
with  him.  This,  owing  to  the  fears  of  the  papal  commissioner 
charged  with  it,  was  not  published  till  June  18.  Before  the  exist- 
ence of  the  bull  was  known,  on  May  22,  Savonarola  had  written  to 
Alexander  an  explanatory  letter,  in  which  he  offered  to  submit 
himself  to  the  judgment  of  the  Church ;  but  two  days  after  the  ex- 
communication was  published  he  replied  to  it  with  a  defence  in 
which  he  endeavored  to  prove  that  the  sentence  was  invalid,  and 
on  June  25  he  had  the  audacity  to  address  to  Alexander  a  letter  of 
condolence  on  the  murder  of  his  son,  the  Duke  of  Gandia.  Fort- 
unately for  him  another  revulsion  in  municipal  politics  restored 
his  friends  to  power  on  July  1,  the  elections  till  the  end  of  the  year 
continued  favorable,  and  he  did  not  cease  to  receive  and  administer 
the  sacraments,  though,  under  the  previous  orders  of  the  Signoria, 
there  was  no  preaching.  It  must  be  borne  in  mind  that  at  this 
period  there  was  a  spirit  of  insubordination  abroad  which  regarded 
the  papal  censures  with  slender  respect.  We  have  seen  above 
(Yol.  II.  p.  137)  that  in  1502  the  whole  clergy  of  France,  acting 
under  a  decision  of  the  University  of  Paris,  openly  defied  an  ex- 
communication launched  at  them  by  Alexander  VI.  It  was  the 
same  now  in  Florence.  How  little  the  Piagnoni  recked  of  the  ex- 
communication is  seen  by  a  petition  presented  September  17  to 


*  Landucci,  p.  148,— Villari,  II.  18-25. 


220  POLITICAL   HERESY.— THE    CHURCH 

the  Signoria,  by  the  children  of  Florence,  asking  that  their  beloved 
Frate  be  allowed  to  resume  preaching,  and  by  a  sermon  delivered 
in  his  defence,  October  1,  by  a  Carmelite  who  declared  that  in  a  vis- 
ion God  had  told  him  that  Savonarola  was  a  holy  man,  and  that  all 
his  opponents  would  have  their  tongues  torn  out  and  be  cast  to  the 
dogs.  This  was  flat  rebellion  against  the  Holy  See,  but  the  only 
punishment  inflicted  on  the  Carmelite  by  the  episcopal  officials  was 
a  prohibition  of  further  preaching.  Meanwhile  the  Signoria  had 
made  earnest  but  vain  attempts  to  have  the  excommunication  re- 
moved, and  Savonarola  had  indignantly  refused  an  offer  of  the 
Cardinal  of  Siena  (afterwards  Pius  III.)  to  have  it  withdrawn  on 
the  payment  of  five  thousand  scudi  to  a  creditor  of  his.  Yet.  in 
spite  of  this  disregard  of  the  papal  censures,  Savonarola  considered 
himself  as  still  an  obedient  son  of  the  Church.  He  employed  the 
enforced  leisure  of  this  summer  in  writing  the  Trionfo  delta  Croce, 
in  which  he  proved  that  the  papacy  is  supreme,  and  that  whoever 
separates  himself  from  the  unity  and  doctrine  of  Rome  separates 
himself  from  Christ.* 

January,  1498,  saw  the  introduction  of  a  Signoria  composed  of 
his  zealous  partisans,  who  were  not  content  that  a  voice  so  potent 
should  be  hushed.  It  was  an  ancient  custom  that  thev  should  go 
in  a  body  and  make  oblations  at  the  Duomo  on  Epiphany,  which 
was  the  anniversary  of  the  Church,  and  on  that  day  citizens  of  all 
parties  were  astounded  at  seeing  the  still  excommunicated  Savon- 
arola as  the  celebrant,  and  the  officials  humbly  kiss  his  hand.  Xot 
content  with  this  act  of  rebellion,  it  was  arranged  that  he  should 
recommence  preaching.  A  new  Signoria  was  to  be  elected  for 
March,  the  people  were  becoming  divided  in  their  allegiance  to 
him.  and  his  eloquence  was  held  to  be  indispensable  for  his  own 
safety  and  for  the  continuance  in  power  of  the  Piagnoni.  Ac- 
cordingly, on  February  11  he  again  appeared  in  the  Duomo,  where 
the  old  benches  and  scaffolds  had  been  replaced  to  accommodate 
the  crowd.  Yet  many  of  the  more  timid  Piagnoni  abstained  from 
listening  to  an  excommunicate :  whether  just  or  unjust,  they  ar- 
gued, the  sentence  of  the  Church  was  to  be  feared,  f 

*  Yillari,  II.  25-8,  35-6,79;  App.  xxxix. — Processo  Autentico,  p.  535. — Lan- 
ducci,  pp.  152-3,  157. 

t  Landucci,  pp.  161-2.— Machiavelli,  Framinenti  istorici  (Opere  Ed.  1782,  II. 
58). 


SAVONAROLA.  221 

In  the  sermons  on  Exodus  preached  during  this  Lent — the  last 
which  he  had  the  opportunity  of  uttering — Savonarola  was  more 
violent  than  ever.  His  position  was  such  that  he  could  only  justify 
himself  by  proving  that  the  papal  anathema  was  worthless,  and  this 
he  did  in  terms  which  excited  the  liveliest  indignation  in  Rome. 
A  brief  was  despatched  to  the  Signoria,  February  26,  commanding 
them,  under  pain  of  interdict,  to  send  Savonarola  as  a  prisoner  to 
Rome.  This  received  no  attention,  but  at  the  same  time  another 
letter  was  sent  to  the  canons  of  the  Duomo  ordering  them  to  close 
their  church  to  him,  and  March  1  he  appeared  there  to  say  that 
he  would  preach  at  San  Marco,  whither  the  crowded  audience  fol- 
lowed him.  His  fate,  however,  was  sealed  the  same  day  by  the 
advent  to  power  of  a  government  composed  of  a  majority  of  Ar- 
rabbiati,  with  one  of  his  bitterest  enemies,  Pier  Popoleschi,  at  its 
head  as  Gonfaloniero  di  Giustizia.  Yet  he  was  too  powerful  with 
the  people  to  be  openly  attacked,  and  occasion  for  his  ruin  had 
to  be  awaited.* 

The  first  act  of  the  new  Signoria  was  an  appeal  to  the  pope, 
March  4,  excusing  themselves  for  not  obeying  his  orders  and  ask- 
ing for  clemency  towards  Savonarola,  whose  labors  had  been  so 
fruitful,  and  whom  the  people  of  Florence  believed  to  be  more 
than  man.  Possibly  this  may  have  been  insidiously  intended  to 
kindle  afresh  the  papal  anger ;  at  all  events,  Alexander's  reply 
shows  that  he  recognized  fully  the  advantage  of  the  situation. 
Savonarola  is  "that  miserable  worm"  who  in  a  sermon  recently 
printed  had  adjured  God  to  deliver  him  to  hell  if  he  should  apply 
for  absolution.  The  pope  will  waste  no  more  time  in  letters ;  he 
wants  no  more  words  from  them,  but  acts.  They  must  either  send 
their  monstrous  idol  to  Rome,  or  segregate  him  from  all  human 
society,  if  they  wish  to  escape  the  interdict  which  will  last  until 
they  submit.  Yet  Savonarola  is  not  to  be  perpetually  silenced, 
but,  after  due  humiliation,  his  mouth  shall  be  again  opened.f 

This  reached  Florence  March  13  and  excited  a  violent  discus- 
sion.    We  have  seen  that  an  interdict  inflicted  by  the  pope  might 


*  Landucci,  p.  164.— Perrens,  p.  231.— Villari,  II.  App.  lxvi. 
+  Perrens,  pp.  232-5,  365-72.     Cf.  Villari,  II.  115. 

The  obnoxious  appeal  to  God  had  really  been  made  by  Savonarola  in  his  ser- 
mon of  February  11  (Villari,  II.  88). 


222  POLITICAL   HERESY.— THE    CHURCH. 

be  not  merely  a  deprivation  of  spiritual  privileges,  but  that  it  might 
comprehend  segregation  from  the  outside  world  and  seizure  of 
person  and  property  wherever  found,  which  was  ruin  to  a  commer- 
cial community.    The  merchants  and  bankers  of  Florence  received 

%J 

from  their  Roman  correspondents  the  most  alarming  accounts  of 
the  papal  wrath  and  of  his  intention  to  expose  their  property  to 
pillage.  Fear  took  possession  of  the  city,  as  rumors  spread  from 
day  to  day  that  the  dreaded  interdict  had  been  proclaimed.  It 
shows  the  immense  influence  still  wielded  by  Savonarola  that, 
after  earnest  discussions  and  various  devices,  the  Signoria  could 
only  bring  itself,  March  IT,  to  send  to  him  five  citizens  at  night  to 
beg  him  to  suspend  preaching  for  the  time.  He  had  promised  that, 
while  he  would  not  obey  the  pope,  he  would  respect  the  wishes  of 
the  civil  power,  but  when  this  request  reached  him  he  replied  that 
he  must  first  seek  the  will  of  Him  who  had  ordered  him  to  preach. 
The  next  day,  from  the  pulpit  of  San  Marco,  he  gave  his  answer — 
"  Listen,  for  this  is  what  the  Lord  saith :  In  asking  this  Frate  to 
give  up  preaching  it  is  to  Me  that  the  request  is  made,  and  not  to 
him,  for  it  is  I  who  preach  ;  it  is  I  who  grant  the  request  and  who 
do  not  grant  it.  The  Lord  assents  as  regards  the  preaching,  but 
not  as  regards  your  salvation."  * 

It  was  impossible  to  yield  more  awkwardly  or  in  a  manner 
more  convincing  of  self-deception,  and  Savonarola's  enemies  grew 
correspondingly  bold.  The  Franciscans  thundered  triumphantly 
from  the  pulpits  at  their  command ;  the  disorderly  elements, 
wearied  with  the  rule  of  righteousness,  commenced  to  agitate  for 
the  license  which  they  con  Id  see  was  soon  to  be  theirs.  Profane 
scoffers  commenced  to  ridicule  the  Frate  openly  in  the  streets,  and 
within  a  week  placards  were  posted  on  the  walls  urging  the  burn- 
ing of  the  palaces  of  Francesco  Yalori  and  Paolo  Antonio  Sode- 
rini,  two  of  his  leading  supporters.  The  agents  of  the  Duke  of 
Milan  were  not  far  wrong  when  they  exultingly  wrote  to  him  pre- 
dicting the  speedy  downfall  of  the  Frate,  by  fair  means  or  foul.f 

Just  at  this  juncture  there  came  to  light  a  desperate  expedient 
to  which  Savonarola  had  recourse.  After  giving  Alexander  fair 
warning,  March  13,  to  look  to  his  safety,  for  there  could  no  longer 


*  Perrens,  pp.  237,  238.— Landucci,  pp.  164-66. 
f  Landucci,  p.  166. — Villari,  U.  App.  pp.  lviii.-lxii. 


SAVONAROLA.  223 

be  truce  between  them,  Savonarola  appealed  to  the  sovereigns  of 
Christendom,  in  letters  purporting  to  be  written  under  the  direct 
command  of  God  and  in  his  name,  calling  upon  the  monarchs  to 
convoke  a  general  council  for  the  reformation  of  the  Church.  It 
was  diseased,  from  the  highest  to  the  lowest,  and  on  account  of  its 
intolerable  stench  God  had  not  permitted  it  to  have  a  lawful  head. 
Alexander  VI.  was  not  pope  and  was  not  eligible  to  the  papacy, 
not  only  by  reason  of  the  simony  through  which  he  had  bought 
the  tiara,  and  the  wickedness  which,  when  exposed,  would  excite 
universal  execration,  but  also  because  he  was  not  a  Christian,  and 
not  even  a  believer  in  God.  All  this  Savonarola  offered  to  prove  by 
evidence  and  by  miracles  which  God  would  execute  to  convince  the 
most  sceptical.  This  portentous  epistle,  with  trifling  variants,  was 
to  be  addressed  to  the  Kings  of  France,  Spain,  England,  and  Hun- 
gary, and  to  the  emperor.  A  preliminary  missive  from  Domenico 
Mazzinghi  to  Giovanni  Guasconi,  Florentine  Ambassador  in  France, 
happened  to  be  intercepted  by  the  Duke  of  Milan,  who  was  hostile 
to  Savonarola,  and  who  promptly  forwarded  it  to  the  pope.* 

Alexander's  wrath  can  easily  be  conceived.  It  was  not  so 
much  the  personal  accusations,  which  he  was  ready  to  dismiss  with 
cynical  indifference,  as  the  effort  to  bring  about  the  convocation  of 
a  council  which,  since  those  of  Constance  and  Basle,  had  ever  been 
the  cry  of  the  reformer  and  the  terror  of  the  papacy.  In  the  ex- 
isting discontent  of  Christendom  it  was  an  ever-present  danger. 
So  recently  as  1482  the  half-crazy  Andreas,  Archbishop  of  Krain, 
had  set  all  Europe  in  an  uproar  by  convoking  from  Basle  a  council 
on  his  own  responsibility,  and  defying  for  six  months,  under  the 
protection  of  the  magistrates,  the  efforts  of  Sixtus  IY.  and  the 
anathemas  of  the  inquisitor,  Henry  Institoris,  until  Frederic  III., 
after  balancing  awhile,  had  him  thrown  into  jail.  In  the  same  year, 
1482,  Ferdinand  and  Isabella,  by  the  threat  of  calling  a  council, 
brought  Sixtus  to  renounce  the  claim  of  filling  the  sees  of  Spain 
with  his  own  creatures.  In  1495  a  rumor  was  current  that  the 
emperor  was  about  to  cite  the  pope  to  a  council  to  be  held  in 


*  Villari,  II.  129,  132-5;  App.  pp.  lxviii -lxxi.,  clxxi.  —  Baluz.  et  Mansi  I. 
584-5.— Perrens.  pp.  373-5.—  Burlamacchi,  p.  551.— In  his  confession  of  May  21, 
Savonarola  stated  that  the  idea  of  the  council  had  only  suggested  itself  to  him 
three  months  previously  (Villari,  II.  App.  cxcii.). 


22±  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE    CHURCH. 

Florence.  Some  vears  earlier  the  rebellious  Cardinal  Giuliano 
della  Kovere,  who  had  fled  to  France,  persistently  urged  Charles 
VIII.  to  assemble  a  general  council ;  in  14:97  Charles  submitted 
the  question  to  the  University  of  Paris,  and  the  University  pro- 
nounced in  its  favor.  Wild  as  was  Savonarola's  notion  that  he 
could,  single-handed,  stimulate  the  princes  to  such  action,  it  was, 
nevertheless,  a  dart  aimed  at  the  mortal  spot  of  the  papacy,  and 
the  combat  thereafter  was  one  in  which  no  quarter  could  be  given.* 
The  end,  in  fact,  was  inevitable,  but  it  came  sooner  and  more 
dramatically  than  the  shrewdest  observer  could  have  anticipated. 
It  is  impossible,  amid  the  conflicting  statements  of  friends  and 
foes,  to  determine  with  positiveness  the  successive  steps  leading  to 
the  strange  Sperimento  del  Fuoco  which  was  the  proximate  occa- 
sion of  the  catastrophe,  but  it  probably  occurred  in  this  wise : 
Fra  Girolamo  being  silenced,  Domenico  da  Pescia  took  his  place. 
Matters  were  clearly  growing  desperate,  and  in  his  indiscreet  zeal 
Domenico  offered  to  prove  the  truth  of  his  master's  cause  by 
throwing  himself  from  the  roof  of  the  Palazzo  de'  Signori,  by  cast- 
ing himself  into  the  river,  or  by  entering  fire.  Probably  this  was 
only  a  rhetorical  flourish  without  settled  purpose,  but  the  Francis- 
can, Francesco  della  Puglia,  who  was  preaching  with  much  effect 
at  the  Church  of  Santa-Croce,  took  it  up  and  offered  to  share  the 
ordeal  with  Fra  Girolamo.  The  latter,  however,  refused  to  under- 
take it  unless  a  papal  legate  and  ambassadors  from  all  Christian 
princes  could  be  present,  so  that  it  might  be  made  the  commence- 
ment of  a  general  reform  in  the  Church.  Fra  Domenico  then 
accepted  the  challenge,  and  on  March  27  or  28  he  caused  to  be 
affixed  to  the  portal  of  Santa-Croce  a  paper  in  which  he  offered  to 
prove,  by  argument  or  miracle,  these  propositions  :  I.  The  Church 

*  Landucci,  p.  113. — Chron.  Glassberger  ann.  1482. — Raynald.  ann.  1492,  No. 
25. — Pulgar,  Cronica  de  los  Reyes  Catolicos,  ii.  civ. — Comba,  La  Riforma  in 
Italia,  I.  491.— Nardi,  Lib.  n.  (p.  79). 

The  contemporary  Glassberger  says  of  Andreas  of  Krain's  attempt,  "  Nisi 
enim  auctoritas  imperatoris  intervenisset  maximum  in  ecclesia  schisma  subortum 
fuisset.  Omnes  enim  aeinuli  domini  papae  ad  domini  imperatoris  consensum 
respiciebant  pro  concilio  celebrando."  A  year's  imprisonment  in  chains  ex- 
hausted the  resolution  of  Andreas,  who  executed  a  solemn  recantation  of  his  in- 
vectives against  the  Holy  See.  This  was  sent  with  a  petition  for  pardon  to 
Sixtus  IV.,  who  granted  it,  but  before  the  return  of  the  messengers  the  unhappy 
reformer  hanged  himself  in  his  cell  (ubi  sup.  ann.  1483). 


SAVONAROLA.  225 

of  God  requires  renovation ;  II.  The  Church  is  to  be  scourged ; 
III.  The  Church  will  be  renovated ;  IV.  After  chastisement  Flor 
ence  will  be  renovated  and  will  prosper;  V.  The  infidel  will  be 
converted ;  VI.  The  excommunication  of  Fra  Girolamo  is  void ; 
VII.  There  is  no  sin  in  not  observing  the  excommunication.  Fra 
Francesco  reasonably  enough  said  that  most  of  these  propositions 
were  incapable  of  argument,  but,  as  a  demonstration  was  desired, 
he  would  enter  fire  with  Fra  Domenico,  although  he  fully  expected 
to  be  burned ;  still,  he  was  willing  to  make  the  sacrifice  in  order 
to  liberate  the  Florentines  from  their  false  idol.* 

Passions  were  fierce  on  both  sides,  and  eager  partisans  kept 
the  city  in  an  uproar.  To  prevent  an  outbreak  the  Signoria  sent 
for  both  disputants  and  caused  them  to  enter  into  a  written  agree- 
ment, March  30,  to  undergo  this  strange  trial.  Three  hundred 
years  earlier  it  would  have  seemed  reasonable  enough,  but  the 
Council  of  Lateran,  in  1215,  had  reprobated  ordeals  of  all  kinds, 
and  they  had  been  definitely  marked  with  the  ban  of  the  Church. 
When  it  came  to  the  point  Fra  Francesco  said  that  he  had  no 
quarrel  with  Domenico ;  that  if  Savonarola  would  undergo  the 
trial,  he  was  ready  to  share  it,  but  with  any  one  else  he  would  only 
produce  a  champion — and  one  was  readily  found  in  the  person  of 
Fra  Giuliano  Rondinelh,  a  noble  Florentine  of  the  Order.  On  the 
other  side,  all  the  friars  of  San  Marco,  nearly  three  hundred  in 
number,  signed  the  agreement  pledging  to  submit  themselves  to 
the  ordeal,  and  Savonarola  declared  that  in  such  a  cause  any  one 
could  do  so  without  risk.  So  great  was  the  enthusiasm  that  when, 
on  the  day  before  the  trial,  he  preached  on  the  subject  in  San- 
Marco,  all  the  audience  rose  in  mass,  and  offered  to  take  Domeni- 
co's  place  in  vindicating  the  truth.  The  conditions  prescribed  by 
the  Signoria  were,  that  if  the  Dominican  champion  perished, 
whether  alone  or  with  his  rival,  Savonarola  should  leave  the  city 
until  officially  recalled  ;  if  the  Franciscan  alone  succumbed,  then 
Fra  Francesco  should  do  likewise ;  and  the  same  was  decreed  for 
either  side  that  should  decline  the  ordeal  at  the  last  moment.f 


*  Burlamacchi,  p.  559. — Landucci,  pp.  166-7. — Processo  Autentico,  pp.  535-7. 
— Villari,  II.  App.  lxxi.  sqq. 

t  Landucci,  pp.  167-8.— Processo  Autentico,  pp.   536-8.— Villari,  II.  App. 
xci.-xciii. 

III.— 15 


226  POLITICAL    HERESY.-THE    CHURCH. 

The  Signoria  appointed  ten  citizens  to  conduct  the  trial,  and 
fixed  it  for  April  6,  but  postponed  it  for  a  day  in  hopes  of  receiv- 
ing from  the  pope  a  negative  answer  to  an  application  for  per- 
mission— a  refusal  which  came,  but  came  too  late,  possibly  delayed 
on  purpose.  On  April  T,  accordingly,  the  preparations  were  com- 
pleted. In  the  Piazza  de'  Signori  a  huge  pile  of  dry  wood  was 
built  the  height  of  a  man's  eyes,  with  a  central  gangway  through 
which  the  champions  were  to  pass.  It  was  plentifully  supplied 
with  gunpowder,  oil,  sulphur,  and  spirits,  to  insure  the  rapid  spread 
of  the  flames,  and  when  lighted  at  one  end  the  contestants  were 
•to  enter  at  the  other,  which  was  to  be  set  on  fire  behind  them,  so 
as  to  cut  off  all  retreat.  An  immense  mass  of  earnest  spectators 
filled  the  piazza,  and  every  window  and  house-top  was  crowded. 
These  were  mostly  partisans  of  Savonarola,  and  the  Franciscans 
were  cowed  until  cheered  by  the  arrival  of  the  Compagnacci,  the 
young  nobles  fully  armed  on  the'r  war-horses,  and  each  accom- 
panied  b}r  eight  or  ten  retainers — some  five  hundred  in  all,  with 
Doffo  Spini  at  their  head.* 

First  came  on  the  scene  the  Franciscans,  anxious  and  terrified. 
Then  marched  in  procession  the  Dominicans,  about  two  hundred 
in  number,  chanting  psalms.  Both  parties  went  before  the  Sig- 
noria, when  the  Franciscans,  professing  fear  of  magic  arts,  de- 
manded that  Domenico  should  change  his  garments.  Although 
this  was  promptly  acceded  to,  and  both  champions  were  clothed 
anew,  considerable  time  was  consumed  in  the  details.  The  Domini- 
cans claimed  that  Domenico  should  be  allowed  to  carry  a  crucifix  in 
his  right  hand  and  a  consecrated  wafer  in  his  left.  An  objection 
being  made  to  the  crucifix  he  agreed  to  abandon  it,  but  was  un- 
moved by  the  cry  of  horror  with  which  the  proposition  as  to  the 
host  was  received.  Savonarola  was  firm.  It  had  been  revealed 
to  Fra  Salvestro  that  the  sacrament  was  indispensable,  and  the 
matter  was  hotly  disputed  until  the  shades  of  evening  fell,  when 
the  Signoria  announced  that  the  ordeal  was  abandoned,  and  the 
Franciscans  withdrew,  followed  by  the  Dominicans.  The  crowd 
which  had  patiently  waited  through  torrents  of  rain,  and  a  storm 
in  which  the  air  seemed  filled  with  howling  demons,  were  enraged 


*  Perrens,  pp.  379-81. — Burlamacchi,  pp.  560,  562. — Landucci,  p.  163. — Pro- 
cesso  Autentico,  pp.  540-1. 


SAVONAROLA.  227 

at  the  loss  of  the  promised  spectacle,  and  a  heavy  armed  escort 
was  necessary  to  convey  the  Dominicans  in  safety  back  to  San 
Marco.  Had  the  matter  been  one  with  which  reason  had  any- 
thing to  do,  we  might  perhaps  wonder  that  it  was  regarded  as  a 
triumph  for  the  Franciscans ;  but  Savonarola  had  so  confidently 
promised  a  miracle,  and  had  been  so  implicitly  believed  by  his 
followers,  that  they  accepted  the  drawn  battle  as  a  defeat,  and  as 
a  confession  that  he  could  not  rely  on  the  interposition  of  God. 
Their  faith  in  their  prophet  was  shaken,  while  the  exultant  Com- 
pagnacci  lavished  abuse  on  him,  and  they  had  not  a  word  to  utter 
in  his  defence.* 

His  enemies  were  prompt  in  following  up  their  advantage. 
The  next  day  was  Palm  Sunday.  The  streets  were  full  of  tri- 
umphant Arrabbiati,  and  such  Piagnoni  as  showed  themselves 
were  pursued  with  jeers  and  pelted  with  stones.  At  vespers,  the 
Dominican  Mariano  de'  Ughi  attempted  to  preach  in  the  Duomo, 
which  was  crowded,  but  the  Compagnacci  were  there  in  force,  in- , 
terrupted  the  sermon,  ordered  the  audience  to  disperse,  and  those 
who  resisted  were  assailed  and  wounded.  Then  arose  the  cry, 
"  To  San  Marco !"  and  the  crowd  hurried  thither.  Already  the 
doors  of  the  Dominican  church  had  been  surrounded  by  boys 
whose  cries  disturbed  the  service  within,  and  who,  when  ordered 
to  be  silent,  had  replied  with  showers  of  stones  which  compelled 
the  entrance  to  be  closed.  As  the  crowd  surged  around,  the  wor- 
shippers were  glad  to  escape  with  their  lives  through  the  cloisters. 
Francesco  Yalori  and  Paolo  Antonio  Soderini  were  there  in  con- 
sultation with  Savonarola.  Soderini  made  good  his  exit  from  the 
city ;  Yalori  was  seized  while  skirting  the  walls,  and  carried  in 
front  of  his  palace,  which  had  already  been  attacked  by  the  Com- 
pagnacci. Before  his  eyes,  his  wife,  who  was  pleading  with  the 
assailants  from  a  window,  was  slain  with  a  missile,  one  of  his 
children  and  a  female  servant  were  wounded,  and  the  palace  was 
sacked  and  burned,  after  which  he  was  struck  from  behind  raid 
killed  by  his  enemies  of  the  families  Tornabuoni  and  Kidolfi. 

*  Landucci,  pp.  168-9.—  Processo  Autentico,  p.  542.— Burlamacchi,  p.  563.— 
Villari,  II.  App.  pp.  lxxv.-lxxx.,  lxxxiii.-xc— Guicciardini,  Lib.  in.  c.  6. 

The  good  Florentines  did  not  fail  to  point  out  that  the  sudden  death  of 
Charles  VIII.,  on  this  same  April  7,  was  a  visitation  upon  hirn  for  having  aban- 
doned Savonarola  and  the  republic. — Nardi,  Lib.  n.  p.  80. 


228  POLITICAL  HERESY.— THE    CHURCH. 

Two  other  houses  of  Savonarola's  partisans  were  likewise  pillaged 
and  burned.* 

In  the  midst  of  the  uproar  there  came  forth  successive  procla- 
mations from  the  Signoria  ordering  Savonarola  to  quit  the  Flor- 
entine territories  within  twelve  hours,  and  all  laymen  to  leave  the 
church  of  San  Marco  within  one  hour.  Although  these  were  fol- 
lowed by  others  threatening  death  to  any  one  entering  the  church, 
they  virtually  legalized  the  riot,  showing  what  had  doubtless  been 
the  secret  springs  that  set  it  in  motion.  The  assault  on  San  Marco 
then  became  a  regular  siege.  Matters  had  for  some  time  looked 
so  threatening  that  during  the  past  fortnight  the  friars  had  been 
secretly  providing  themselves  with  arms.  These  they  and  their 
friends  used  gallantly,  even  against  the  express  commands  of 
Savonarola,  and  a  melee  occurred  in  which  more  than  a  hundred 
on  both  sides  were  killed  and  wounded.  At  last  the  Signoria 
sent  guards  to  capture  Savonarola  and  his  principal  aids,  Do- 
menico  and  Salvestro,  with  a  pledge  that  no  harm  should  be  done 
to  them.  Resistance  ceased ;  the  two  former  were  found  in  the 
library,  but  Salvestro  had  hidden  himself,  and  was  not  captured 
till  the  next  day.  The  prisoners  were  ironed  hand  and  foot  and 
carried  through  the  streets,  where  their  guards  could  not  protect 
them  from  kicks  and  buffets  by  the  raging  mob.f 

The  next  day  there  was  comparative  quiet.  The  revolution  in 
which  the  aristocracy  had  allied  itself  with  the  dangerous  classes 
was  complete.  The  Piagnoni  were  thoroughly  cowed.  Oppro- 
brious epithets  were  freely  lavished  on  Savonarola  by  the  victors, 
and  any  one  daring  to  utter  a  word  in  his  defence  would  have 
been  slain  on  the  spot.  To  render  the  triumph  permanent,  how- 
ever, it  was  necessary  first  to  discredit  him  utterly  with  the  peo- 
ple and  then  to  despatch  him.  Xo  time  was  lost  in  preparing  to 
give  a  judicial  appearance  to  the  foregone  conclusion.  During 
the  dav  a  tribunal  of  seventeen  members  selected  from  among: 
his  special  enemies,  such  as  Doffo  Spini,  was  nominated,  which 
set  promptly  to  work  on  April  10,  although  its  formal  commis- 
sion, including  power  to  use  torture,  was  not  made  out  until  the 


*  Landucci,  p.  170. — Processo  Auteutico,  pp.  534,  543. — Burlamacchi,  p.  564. 
+  Landucci,  p.  171. — Processo  Autentico,  pp.  544.  549. — Burlamacchi,  p.  564. 
— Nardi,  Lib.  it.  p.  78. — Villain,  II.  173-77;  App.  pp.  xciv..  ccxxv.,  ccxxxiii. 


SAVONAROLA.  229 

11th.  Papal  authority  to  disregard  the  clerical  immunity  of  the 
prisoners  was  applied  for,  but  the  proceedings  were  not  delayed 
by  waiting  for  the  answer,  which,  of  course,  was  favorable,  and 
two  papal  commissioners  were  adjoined  to  the  tribunal.  Savona- 
rola and  his  companions,  still  ironed  hand  and  foot,  were  carried 
to  the  Bargello.  The  official  account  states  that  he  was  first  in- 
terrogated kindly,  but  as  he  would  not  confess  he  was  threatened 
with  torture,  and  this  proving  ineffectual  he  was  subjected  to 
three  and  a  half  tratti  di  fune.  This  was  a  customary  form  of 
torture,  known  as  the  strappado,  which  consisted  in  tying  the 
prisoner's  hands  behind  his  back,  then  hoisting  him  by  a  rope  fast- 
ened to  his  wrists,  letting  him  drop  from  a  height  and  arresting 
him  with  a  jerk  before  his  feet  reached  the  floor.  Sometimes 
heavy  weights  were  attached  to  the  feet  to  render  the  operation 
more  severe.  Officially  it  is  stated  that  this  first  application  was 
sufficient  to  lead  him  to  confess  freely,  but  the  general  belief  at 
the  time  was  that  it  was  repeated  with  extreme  severity.* 

Be  this  as  it  may,  Savonarola's  nervous  organization  was  too 
sensitive  for  him  to  endure  agony  which  he  knew  would  be  in- 
definitely prolonged  by  those  determined  to  effect  a  predestined 
result.  He  entreated  to  be  released  from  the  torture  and  promised 
to  reveal  everything.     His  examination  lasted  until  April  18,  but 


*  Landucci,  pp.  171-2. — Villari,  II.  178 ;  App.  p.  clxv. — Processo  Autentico, 
pp.  550-1. 

Violi  (Villari,  II.  App.  cxvi.-vii.)  says  that  the  torture  was  repeatedly  applied 
— on  one  evening  no  less  than  fourteen  times  from  the  pulley  to  the  floor,  and 
that  his  arms  were  so  injured  that  he  was  unable  to  feed  himself;  but  this  must 
be  exaggerated  in  view  of  the  pi<  us  treatises  which  he  wrote  while  in  prison. 
Burlamacchi  says  that  he  was  tortured  repeatedly  both  with  cord  and  fire  (pp. 
566,  568).  Burchard,  the  papal  prothonotary,  states  that  he  was  tortured  seven 
times,  and  Burchard  was  likely  to  know  and  not  likely  to  exaggerate  (Burch. 
Diar.  ap.  Preuves  des  Memoires  de  Commines,  Bruxelles,  1706,  p.  424).  The  ex- 
pression of  Commines,  who  was  well-informed,  is  "  le  gesnerent  a  merveilles" 
(Memoires,  Lib.  viii.  ch.  19).  But  the  most  emphatic  evidence  is  that  of  the  Sig- 
noria,  who,  in  answer  to  the  reproaches  of  Alexander  at  their  tardiness,  declare 
that  they  had  to  do  with  a  man  of  great  endurance ;  they  had  assiduously  tort- 
ured him  for  many  days  with  slender  results,  which  they  would  suppress  until 
they  could  force  him  to  reveal  all  his  secrets— "  multa  et  assidua  quaestione,  mul- 
tis  diebus,  per  vim  vix  pauca  extorsimus,  quae  nunc  celare  animus  erat  donee 
omnia  nobis  paterent  sui  animi  involucra^  (Villari,  II.  197). 


230  POLITICAL   HERESY.— THE    CHURCH. 

even  in  his  complying  frame  of  mind  the  resultant  confession  re- 
quired to  be  manipulated  before  it  could  be  made  public.  For 
this  infamous  piece  of  work  a  fitting  instrument  was  at  hand. 
Ser  Ceccone  was  an  old  partisan  of  the  Medici  whose  life  had 
been  saved  by  Savonarola's  secretly  giving  him  refuge  in  San 
Marco,  and  who  now  repaid  the  benefit  by  sacrificing  his  bene- 
factor. As  a  notary  he  was  familiar  with  such  work,  and  un- 
der his  skilful  hands  the  incoherent  answers  of  Savonarola  were 
moulded  into  a  narrative  which  is  the  most  abject  of  self -accusa- 
tions and  most  compromising  to  all  his  friends.* 

He  is  made  to  represent  himself  as  being  from  the  first  a  con- 
scious impostor,  whose  sole  object  was  to  gain  power  by  deceiving 
the  people.  If  his  project  of  convoking  a  council  had  resulted  in 
his  being  chosen  pope  he  would  not  have  refused  the  position,  but 
if  not  he  would  at  all  events  have  become  the  foremost  man  in 
the  world.  For  his  own  purposes  he  had  arrayed  the  citizens 
against  each  other  and  caused  a  rupture  between  the  city  and  the 
Holy  See,  striving  to  erect  a  government  on  the  Venetian  model, 
with  Francesco  Yalori  as  perpetual  doge.  The  animus  of  the 
trial  is  clearly  revealed  in  the  scant  attention  paid  to  his  spiritual 
aberrations,  which  were  the  sole  offences  for  which  he  could  be 
convicted,  and  the  immense  detail  devoted  to  his  political  activity, 
and  to  his  relations  with  all  obnoxious  citizens  whom  it  was  de- 
sired to  involve  in  his  ruin.  Had  there  been  any  pretence  of  ob- 
serving ordinary  judicial  forms,  the  completeness  with  which  he 
was  represented  as  abasing  himself  would  have  overreached  its 
purpose.  In  forcing  him  to  confess  that  he  was  no  prophet,  and 
that  he  had  always  secretly  believed  the  papal  excommunication 
to  be  valid,  he  was  relieved  from  the  charge  of  persistent  heresy, 
and  he  could  legally  be  only  sentenced  to  penance ;  but,  as  there 


*  Landucci,  p.  172. — Processo  Autentico,  p.  550. — Perrens,  pp.  267-8. — Bur- 
lamacchi,  pp.  566-7. — Villari,  II.  188, 193;  App.  cxviii.-xxi. 

It  is  part  of  the  Savonarola  legend  that  Savonarola  threatened  Ser  Ceccone 
with  death  within  a  year  if  he  did  not  remove  certain  interpolations  from  the 
confession,  and  that  the  prediction  was  verified,  Ceccone  dying  within  the  time, 
unhouselled,  and  refusing  in  despair  the  consolations  of  religion  (Burlamacchi, 
p.  575. — Violi  op.  Villari,  II.  App.  cxxvii.). 

Ceccone  performed  the  same  office  for  the  confession  of  Fra  Domenico  (Villari, 
II.  App.  Doc.  xxvir.). 


SAVONAROLA. 


231 


was  no  intention  of  being  restricted  to  legal  rules,  the  first  object 
was  to  discredit  him  with  the  people,  after  which  he  could  be 
judicially  murdered  with  impunity.* 

The  object  was  thoroughly  attained.  On  April  19,  in  the  great 
hall  of  the  council,  the  confession  was  publicly  read  in  the  pres- 
ence of  all  who  might  see  fit  to  attend.  The  effect  produced  is 
well  described  by  the  honest  Luca  Landucci,  who  had  been  an 
earnest  and  devout,  though  timid,  follower  of  Fra  Girolamo,  and 
who  now  grieved  bitterly  at  the  disappearance  of  his  illusions,  and 
at  the  shattering  of  the  gorgeous  day-dreams  in  which  the  dis- 
ciples had  nursed  themselves.  Deep  was  his  anguish  as  he  lis- 
tened to  the  confession  of  one  "  whom  we  believed  to  be  a  prophet 
and  who  now  confessed  that  he  was  no  prophet,  and  that  what  he 
preached  was  not  revealed  to  him  by  God.  I  was  stupefied  and 
my  very  soul  was  filled  with  grief  to  see  the  destruction  of  such 
an  edifice,  which  crumbled  because  it  was  founded  on  a  lie.  I  had 
expected  to  see  Florence  a  new  Jerusalem,  whence  should  issue 
the  laws  and  the  splendor  and  the  example  of  the  holy  life ;  to 
see  the  renovation  of  the  Church,  the  conversion  of  the  infidel,  and 
the  rejoicing  of  the  good.  I  found  the  reverse  of  all  this,  and  I 
swallowed  the  dose"  —  a  natural  enough  metaphor,  seeing  that 
Landucci  was  an  apothecary,  f 

Yet  even  with  this  the  Signoria  was  not  satisfied.  On  April 
21  a  new  trial  was  ordered ;  Savonarola  was  tortured  again,  and 
further  avowals  of  his  political  action  were  wrung  from  him,;j: 
while  a  general  arrest  was  made  of  those  who  were  compromised 
by  his  confessions,  and  those  of  Domenico  and  Salvestro,  creating  a 
terror  so  widespread  that  large  numbers  of  his  followers  fled  from 
the  city.  On  the  27th  the  prisoners  were  taken  to  the  Bargello 
and  so  tortured  that  during  the  whole  of  the  afternoon  their 
shrieks  were  heard  by  the  passers-by,  but   nothing  was  wrung 


*  Processo  Autentico,  pp.  551-64,  567. — Villari,  II.  App.  cxlvii.  sqq. 

Violi  states  that  the  confession  as  interpolated  by  Ceccone  was  printed  and 
circulated  by  the  Signoria  as  a  justification  of  their  action,  but  that  it  proved  so 
unsatisfactory  to  the  public  that  in  a  few  days  all  copies  were  ordered  by  proc- 
lamation to  be  surrendered  (Villari,  II.  App.  p.  cxiv.). 

t  Landucci,  p.  173. — Burlamacchi,  p.  567. 

I  This  confession  was  never  made  public.  Villari,  who  discovered  the  MS., 
has  printed  it,  App.  p.  clxxv. 


232  POLITICAL    HERESY.-THE    CHURCH. 

from  them  to  incriminate  Savonarola.  The  officials  in  power  had 
but  a  short  time  for  action,  as  their  term  of  office  ended  with  the 
month,  although  by  arbitrary  and  illegal  devices  they  secured  suc- 
cessors of  their  own  party.  Their  last  official  act,  on  the  30th, 
was  the  exile  of  ten  of  the  accused  citizens,  and  the  imposition  on 
twenty-three  of  various  fines,  amounting  in  all  to  twelve  thousand 
florins.* 

The  new  government  which  came  in  power  May  1  at  once  dis- 
charged the  imprisoned  citizens,  but  kept  Savonarola  and  his  com- 
panions. These,  as  Dominicans,  were  not  justiciable  by  the  civil 
power,  but  the  Signoria  immediately  applied  to  Alexander  for 
authority  to  condemn  and  execute  them.  He  refused,  and  ordered 
them  to  be  delivered  to  him  for  judgment,  as  he  had  already  done 
when  the  news  reached  him  of  Savonarola's  capture.  To  this  the 
republic  demurred,  doubtless  for  the  reason  privately  alleged  to 
the  ambassador,  that  Savonarola  was  privy  to  too  many  state 
secrets  to  be  intrusted  to  the  Roman  curia ;  but  it  suggested  that 
the  pope  might  send  commissioners  to  Florence  to  conduct  the 
proceedings  in  his  name.  To  this  he  assented.  In  a  brief  of  May 
11  the  Bishop  of  Yaison,  the  suffragan  of  the  Archbishop  of  Flor- 
ence, is  instructed  to  degrade  the  culprits  from  holy  orders,  at  the 
requisition  of  the  commissioners  who  had  been  empowered  to  con- 
duct the  examination  and  trial  to  final  sentence.  In  the  selection 
of  these  commissioners  the  Inquisition  does  not  appear.  Even 
had  it  not  fallen  too  low  in  popular  estimation  to  be  intrusted 
with  an  affair  of  so  much  moment,  in  Tuscany  it  was  Franciscan, 
and  to  have  given  special  authority  to  the  existing  inquisitor, 
Fra  Francesco  da  Montalcino,  would  have  been  injudicious  in  view 
of  the  part  taken  by  the  Franciscans  in  the  downfall  of  Savonarola. 
Alexander  showed  his  customary  shrewdness  in  selecting  for  the 
miserable  work  the  Dominican  general,  Giovacchino  Torriani, 
who  bore  the  reputation  of  a  kind-hearted  and  humane  man.  He 
was  but  a  stalking-horse,  however,  for  the  real  actor  was  his  asso- 
ciate, Francesco  Eomolino,  a  clerk  of  Lerida,  whose  zeal  in  the 
infamous  business  was  rewarded  with  the  cardinalate  and  arch- 
bishopric of  Palermo.     After  all,  their  duties  were  only  ministerial 


*  Landucci,  p.  174. — Processo  Autentico,  p.  563. — Villari,  H.  210,  217. — Nardi, 
Lib.  ii.  p.  79. 


SAVONAROLA.  233 

and  not  judicial,  for  the  matter  had  been  prejudged  at  Kome. 
Roinolino  openly  boasted,  "  We  shall  have  a  fine  bonfire,  for  I 
bring"  the  sentence  with  me."  * 

The  commissioners  reached  Florence  May  19,  and  lost  no  time 
in  accomplishing  their  object.  The  only  result  of  the  papal  inter- 
vention was  to  subject  the  victims  to  a  surplusage  of  agony  and 
shame.  For  form's  sake,  the  papal  judges  could  not  accept  the 
proceedings  already  had,  but  must  inflict  on  Savonarola  a  third 
trial.  Brought  before  Romolino  on  the  20th,  he  retracted  his  con- 
fession as  extorted  by  torture,  and  asserted  that  he  was  an  envoy 
of  God.  Under  the  inquisitorial  formulas  this  retraction  of  con- 
fession rendered  him  a  relapsed  heretic,  who  could  be  burned  with- 
out further  ceremony,  but  his  judges  wanted  to  obtain  information 
desired  by  Alexander,  and  again  the  sufferer  was  repeatedly  sub- 
jected to  the  strappado,  when  he  withdrew  his  retraction.  Special 
inquiries  were  directed  to  ascertain  whether  the  Cardinal  of  Naples 
had  been  privy  to  the  design  of  convoking  a  general  council,  and 
under  the  stress  of  reiterated  torture  Savonarola  was  brought  to 
admit  this  on  the  21st,  but  on  the  22d  he  withdrew  the  assertion, 
and  the  whole  confession,  although  manipulated  by  the  skilful 
hand  of  Ser  Ceccone,  was  so  nearly  a  repetition  of  the  previous 
one  that  it  was  never  given  to  the  public.  This  mattered  little, 
however,  for  the  whole  proceedings  were  a  barefaced  mockery  of 
justice.  From  some  oversight  Domenico  da  Pescia's  name  had  not 
been  included  in  the  papal  commission.  He  was  an  individual 
of  no  personal  importance,  but  some  zealous  Florentine  warned 
Romolino  that  there  might  be  danger  in  sparing  him,  when  the 
commissioner  carelessly  replied  "  Afrataccio  more  or  less  makes 
no  difference,"  and  his  name  was  added  to  the  sentence.  He  was 
an  impenitent  heretic,  for  with  heroic  firmness  he  had  borne  the 
most  excruciating  torture  without  retracting  his  faith  in  his  be- 
loved prophet.f 

*  Landucci,  p.  174.— Nardi,  Lib.  n.  p.  79.— Wadding,  ann.  1496,  No.  7.— 
Perrens,  p.  399.— Processo  Autentico,  p.  522.— Burlamacchi,  p.  568.— Brev.  Hist. 
Ord.  Prsedicat.  (Martene  Ampl.  Coll.  VI.  393). 

t  Landucci,  p.  176.— Nardi,  Lib.  n.  pp.  80-1.— Burlamacchi,  p.  568.— Violi 
(Villari,  II.  App.  cxxv.).— Villari,  II.  206-8,  229-33;  App.  clxxxiv.,  cxciv.,  cxcvii. 

There  was  one  peculiarity  in  this  examination  before  Romolino  which  I  have 
not  seen  recorded  elsewhere.     During  the  interrogatory  of  May  21  Savonarola 


234  POLITICAL    HERESY,— THE    CHURCH. 

The  accused  were  at  least  spared  the  torment  of  suspense.  On 
the  2M  judgment  was  pronounced.  They  were  condemned  as 
heretics  and  schismatics,  rebels  from  the  Church,  sowers  of  tares 
and  revealers  of  confessions,  and  were  sentenced  to  be  abandoned 
to  the  secular  arm.  To  justify  relaxation,  it  was  requisite  that 
the  culprit  should  be  a  relapsed  or  a  defiant  heretic,  and  Savona- 
rola was  not  regarded  as  coming  under  either  category.  He  had 
always  declared  his  readiness  to  retract  anything  which  Home 
might  define  as  erroneous.  He  had  confessed  all  that  had  been 
required  of  him,  nor  was  his  retraction  when  removed  from  tort- 
ure treated  as  a  relapse,  for  he  and  his  companions  were  admitted 
to  communion  before  execution,  without  undergoing  the  ceremony 
of  abjuration,  which  shows  that  they  were  not  considered  as 
heretics,  nor  cut  off  from  the  Church.  In  fact,  as  though  to  com- 
plete the  irregularity  of  the  whole  transaction,  Savonarola  himself 
was  allowed  to  act  as  the  celebrant,  and  to  perform  the  sacred 
mysteries  on  the  morning  of  the  execution.  All  this  went  for 
nothing,  however,  when  a  Borgia  was  eager  for  revenge.  On  the 
previous  evening  a  great  pile  had  been  built  in  the  piazza.  The 
next  morning,  May  23,  the  ceremony  of  degradation  from  holy 
orders  was  performed  in  public,  after  which  the  convicts  were 
handed  over  to  the  secular  magistrates.  Was  it  hypocrisy  or  re- 
morse that  led  Romolino  at  this  moment  to  give  to  his  victims,  in 
the  name  of  Alexander,  plenary  indulgence  of  their  sins,  thus  re- 
storing them  to  a  state  of  primal  innocence  ?  Irregular  as  the 
whole  affair  had  been,  it  was  rendered  still  more  so  by  the  Signoria, 
which  modified  the  customary  penalty  to  hanging  before  the  burn- 
ing, and  the  three  martyrs  endured  their  fate  in  silence.* 

The  utmost  care  was  taken  that  the  bodies  should  be  utterly 
consumed,  after  which  every  fragment  of  ashes  was  scrupulously 
gathered  up  and  thrown  into  the  Arno,  in  order  to  prevent  the 
preservation  of  relics.  Yet,  at  the  risk  of  their  lives,  some  earnest 
disciples  secretly  managed  to  secure  a  few  floating  coals,  as  well 


was  subjected  to  fresh  torture  as  a  preliminary  to  asking  his  confirmation  of  the 
statements  just  made  under  repeated  tortures  (Villari,  II.  App.  cxcvi.). 

*  Landucci,  pp.  176-7. — Processo  Autentico,  p.  546. — Villari,  II.  239 ;  App. 
cxcviii. — Cantu,  Eretici  dltalia,  I.  229. — Burlamacchi,  pp.  569-70. — Nardi,  Lib. 
ii.  p.  82. 


SAVONAROLA.  235 

as  some  fragments  of  garments,  which  were  treasured  and  vener- 
ated even  to  recent  times.  Though  many  of  the  believers,  like 
honest  Landucci,  were  disillusioned,  many  were  persistent  in  the 
faith,  and  for  a  long  while  lived  in  the  daily  expectation  of  Savon- 
arola's advent,  like  a  new  Messiah,  to  work  out  the  renovation  of 
Christianity  and  the  conversion  of  the  infidel — the  realization  of 
the  splendid  promises  with  which  he  had  beguiled  himself  and 
them.  So  profound  and  lasting  was  the  impression  made  by  his 
terrible  fate  that  for  more  than  two  centuries,  until  1703,  the  place 
of  execution  was  secretly  strewed  with  flowers  on  the  night  of  the 
anniversary,  May  23.* 

The  papal  commissioners  reaped  a  harvest  by  summoning  to 
Rome  the  followers  of  Savonarola,  and  then  speculating  on  their 
fears  by  selling  them  exemptions.  Florence  itself  was  not  long 
in  realizing  the  strength  of  the  reaction  against  the  puritanic 
methods  which  Savonarola  had  enforced.  The  streets  again  be- 
came filled  with  reckless  desperadoes,  quarrels  and  murders  were 
frequent,  gambling  was  unchecked,  and  license  reigned  supreme. 
Nardi  tells  us  that  it  seemed  as  if  decency  and  virtue  had  been 
prohibited  by  law,  and  the  common  remark  was,  that  since  the 
coming  of  Mahomet  no  such  scandal  had  been  inflicted  upon  the 
Church  of  God.  As  Landucci  says,  it  seemed  as  if  hell  had  broken 
loose.  As  though  in  very  wantonness  to  show  the  Church  what 
were  the  allies  whom  it  had  sought  in  the  effort  to  crush  unwel- 
come reform,  on  the  following  Christmas  eve  a  horse  was  brought 
into  the  Duomo,  and  deliberately  tortured  to  death,  goats  were 
let  loose  in  San  Marco,  and  in  all  the  churches  assafcetida  was 
placed  in  the  censers ;  nor  does  it  seem  that  any  punishment  was 
visited  upon  the  perpetrators  of  these  public  sacrileges.  The 
Church  had  used  the  sceptics  to  gain  her  ends,  and  could  not  com- 
plain of  the  manner  in  which  they  repaid  her  for  her  assistance  in 
the  unholv  alliance. f 


*  Landucci,  p.  178. — Perrens,  p.  281. — Processo  Autentico,  p.  547. — Nardi, 
Lib.  ii.  p.  82.— Villari,  II.  251. 

Burlarnacchi's  relation  (pp.  570-1)  of  the  manner  in  which  an  arm,  a  hand, 
and  the  heart  of  Savonarola  were  preserved  for  the  veneration  of  the  faithful, 
has  the  evident  appearance  of  a  legend  to  justify  the  authenticity  of  the  relics. 

t  Nardi,  Lib.  n.  pp.  82-3. — Landucci,  pp.  190-1. 


236  POLITICAL    HERESY.  — THE    CHURCH. 

Savonarola  had  built  his  house  upon  the  sand,  and  was.  swept 
away  by  the  waters.  Yet,  in  spite  of  his  execution  as  a  heretic, 
the  Church  has  tacitly  confessed  its  own  crime  by  admitting  that 
he  was  no  heretic,  but  rather  a  saint,  and  the  most  convenient 
evasion  of  responsibility  was  devoutly  to  refer  the  whole  matter, 
as  Luke  Wadding  does,  to  the  mysterious  judgment  of  God.  Even 
Torriani  and  Romolino,  after  burning  him,  when  they  ordered, 
May  27,  under  pain  of  excommunication,  all  his  writings  to  be  de- 
livered up  to  them  for  examination,  were  unable  to  discover  any 
heretical  opinions,  and  were  obliged  to  return  them  without  eras- 
ures. Perhaps  it  might  have  been  as  well  to  do  this  before  con- 
demning him.  Paul  III.  declared  that  he  would  hold  as  a  heretic 
any  one  who  should  assail  the  memory  of  Fra  Girolamo;  and 
Paul  IV.  had  his  works  rigorously  examined  by  a  special  congre- 
gation, which  declared  that  they  contained  no  heresy.  Fifteen  of 
his  sermons,  denunciatory  of  ecclesiastical  abuses,  and  his  treatise 
De  Yeritate  Prophetica,  were  placed  upon  the  index  as  unfitted 
for  general  reading,  donee  corrigantur,  but  not  as  heretical. 
Benedict  XI Y.,  in  his  great  work,  De  Servorurn  Dei  Beatijicatione, 
includes  Savonarola's  name  in  a  list  of  the  saints  and  men  illustri- 
ous for  sanctity.  Images  of  him  graced  with  the  nimbus  of  sanc- 
tity were  allowed  to  be  publicly  sold,  and  St.  Filippo  Xeri  kept 
one  of  these  constantly  by  him.  St.  Francesco  di  Paola  held  him 
to  be  a  saint.  St.  Catarina  Ricci  used  to  invoke  him  as  a  saint, 
and  considered  his  suffrage  peculiarly  efficacious ;  when  she  was 
canonized,  her  action  with  regard  to  this  was  brought  before  the 
consistory,  and  was  thoroughly  discussed.  Prospero  Lambertini, 
afterwards  Benedict  XIV.,  was  the  Promoter  Jidei,  and  investi- 
gated the  matter  carefully,  coming  to  the  conclusion  that  this  in 
no  degree  detracted  from  the  merits  of  St.  CatariDa.  Benedict 
XIII.  also  examined  the  case  thoroughly,  and,  dreading  a  renewal 
of  the  old  controversy  as  to  the  justice  of  Savonarola's  sentence, 
ordered  the  discussion  to  cease  and  the  proceedings  to  continue 
without  reference  to  it,  which  was  a  virtual  decision  in  favor  of 
the  martyr's  saintliness.  In  S.  Maria  Novella  and  S.  Marco  he  is 
pictured  as  a  saint,  and  in  the  frescos  of  the  Vatican  Raphael  in- 
cluded him  among  the  doctors  of  the  Church.  The  Dominicans 
long  cherished  his  memory,  and  were  greatly  disposed  to  regard 
him  as  a  genuine  prophet  and  uncanonized  saint.     When  Clement 


SAVONAROLA.  237 

VIII.,  in  1598,  hoped  to  acquire  Ferrara,  he  is  said  to  have  made 
a  vow  that  if  successful  he  would  canonize  Savonarola,  and  the 
hopes  of  the  Dominicans  grew  so  sanguine  that  they  composed  a 
litany  for  him  in  advance.  In  fact,  in  many  of  the  Dominican 
convents  of  Italy  during  the  sixteenth  century,  on  the  anniversary 
of  his  execution  an  office  was  sung  to  him  as  to  a  martyr.  His 
marvellous  career  thus  furnishes  the  exact  antithesis  of  that  of  his 
Ferrarese  compatriot,  Armanno  Pongilupo — the  one  was  vener- 
ated as  a  saint  and  then  burned  as  a  heretic,  the  other  was  burned 
as  a  heretic  and  then  venerated  as  a  saint.* 


#  Wadding,  ann.  1498,  No.  23.— Landucci,  p.  178.— Perrens,  pp.  296-7.—  Pro- 
cesso  Autentico,  pp.  524,  528. — Cantu,  Eretici  d'ltalia,  I.  234-5. — Benedicti  PP. 
XIV.  De  Servorum  Dei  Beatificatione,  Lib.  in.  c.  xxv.  §§  17-20. — Brev.  Hist. 
Ord.  Prsedic.  (Martene,  Am  pi.  Coll.  VI.  394). — Reusch,  Der  Index  der  verbotenen 
Biicher,  I.  368. 

A  goodly  catalogue  of  miracles  performed  by  Savonarola's  intercession  will  be 
found  piously  chronicled  by  Burlamaccbi  and  Bottonio  (Baluz.  et  Mansi  I.  pp. 
571-83). 


CHAPTER  V. 

POLITICAL   HERESY   UTILIZED   BY  THE  STATE. 

It  was  inevitable  that  secular  potentates  should  follow  the  ex- 
ample of  the  Church  in  the  employment  of  a  weapon  so  efficient 
as  the  charge  of  heresy,  when  they  chanced  to  be  in  the  position 
of  controlling  the  ecclesiastical  organization. 

A  typical  illustration  of  this  is  seen  when,  during  the  anarchy 
which  prevailed  in  Eome  after  the  death  of  Innocent  VII.  in  1406, 
Basilio  Ordelaffi  incurred  the  enmity  of  the  Colonnas  and  the  Sa- 
velli,  and  they  found  that  the  easiest  way  to  deal  with  him  was 
through  the  Inquisition.  Under  their  impulsion  it  seized  him  and 
two  of  his  adherents,  Matteo  and  Merenda.  Through  means  pro- 
cured by  his  daughter,  Ordelaffi  escaped  from  prison  and  was  con- 
demned in  contumaciam.  The  others  confessed — doubtless  under 
torture — the  heresies  attributed  to  them,  were  handed  over  to  the 
secular  arm,  and  were  duly  burned.  Their  houses  were  torn  down, 
and  on  their  sites  in  time  were  erected  two  others,  one  of  which 
afterwards  became  the  dwelling  of  Michael  Angelo  and  the  other 
of  Salvator  Kosa.* 

Secular  potentates,  however,  had  not  waited  till  the  fifteenth 
century  to  appreciate  the  facilities  afforded  by  heresy  and  the 
Inquisition  for  the  accomplishment  of  their  objects.  Already  a 
hundred  years  earlier  the  methods  of  the  Inquisition  had  suggested 
to  Philippe  le  Bel  the  great  crime  of  the  Middle  Ages — the  de- 
struction of  the  Order  of  the  Temple. 

When,  in  1119,  Huomes  de  Paven  and  Geoffroi  de  Saint- Adhe- 
mar  with  seven  companions  devoted  themselves  to  the  pious  task 
of  keeping  the  roads  to  Jerusalem  clear  of  robbers,  that  pilgrims 
might  traverse  them  in  safety,  and  when  Kaymond  du  Puy  about 


*  Ripoll  II.  566.— Wadding,  ann.  1409,  No.  12.— Tamburini,  Storia  Gen.  dell' 
Inquis.  II.  437-9. 


THE    TEMPLARS.  239 

the  same  time  organized  the  Poor  Brethren  of  the  Hospital  of  St. 
John,  they  opened  a  new  career  which  was  irresistibly  attractive 
to  the  warlike  ardor  and  religious  enthusiasm  of  the  age.  The 
strange  combination  of  monasticism  and  chivalry  corresponded  so 
exactly  to  the  ideal  of  Christian  knighthood  that  the  Military 
Orders  thus  founded  speedily  were  reckoned  among  the  leading 
institutions  of  Europe.  At  the  Council  of  Troyes,  in  1128,  a  Rule, 
drawn  up  it  is  said  by  St.  Bernard,  was  assigned  to  Hugues  and 
his  associates,  who  were  known  as  the  Poor  Soldiers  of  the  Tem- 
ple. They  were  assigned  a  white  habit,  as  a  symbol  of  innocence, 
to  which  Eugenius  III.  added  a  red  cross,  and  their  standard,  Bau- 
seant,  half  black  and  half  white,  with  its  legend,  "  Non  nobis  D onl- 
ine" soon  became  the  rallying-point  of  the  Christian  chivalry. 
The  Rule,  based  upon  that  of  the  strict  Cistercian  Order,  was 
exceedingly  severe.  The  members  were  bound  by  the  three  mo- 
nastic vows  of  obedience,  poverty,  and  chastity,  and  these  were 
enforced  in  the  statutes  of  the  Order  with  the  utmost  rigor.  The 
applicant  for  admission  was  required  to  ask  permission  to  become 
the  serf  and  slave  of  the  "  House  "  forever,  and  was  warned  that 
he  henceforth  surrendered  his  own  will  irrevocably.  He  was 
promised  bread  and  water  and  the  poor  vestments  of  the  House ; 
and  if  after  death  gold  or  silver  were  found  among  his  effects 
his  body  was  thrust  into  unconsecrated  ground,  or,  if  buried,  it 
was  exhumed.  Chastity  was  prescribed  in  the  same  unsparing 
fashion,  and  even  the  kiss  of  a  mother  was  forbidden.* 

The  fame  of  the  Order  quickly  filled  all  Europe ;  knights  of 
the  noblest  blood,  dukes  and  princes,  renounced  the  world  to  serve 
Christ  in  its  ranks,  and  soon  in  its  general  chapter  three  hundred 
knights  were  gathered,  in  addition  to  serving  brethren.  Their 
possessions  spread  immensely.  Towns  and  villages  and  churches 
and  manors  were  bestowed  upon  them,  from  which  the  revenues 


*  Jac.  de  Vitriaco  Hist.  Hierosol.  cap.  65  (Bongars,  II.  1083-4).— Rolewinck 
Fascic.  Tempor.  (Pistorii  R.  Germ.  Scriptt.  II.  546).— Regula  Pauperum  Com- 
Hiilitonum  Templi  c.  72  (Harduin.  VI.  n.  1146).— Regie  et  Statuts  secrets  des 
Templiers,  §§  125,  128  (Maillard  de  Chambure,  Paris,  1840,  pp.  455,  488-90, 
494-5). 

Since  this  chapter  was  written  the  Societe  de  l'Histoire  de  France  has  issued 
a  more  correct  and  complete  edition  of  the  Rule  and  Statutes  of  the  Templars, 
under  the  care  of  M.  Henri  de  Curzon. 


2±0  POLITICAL    HERESY.-THE    STATE. 

were  sent  to  the  Grand  Master,  whose  official  residence  was  Jeru- 
salem, together  with  the  proceeds  of  the  collections  of  an  organ- 
ized system  of  beggary,  their  agents  for  which  penetrated  into 
every  corner  of  Christendom.  Scarce  had  the  Order  been  or- 
ganized when,  in  1133,  the  mighty  warrior,  Alonso  I.  of  Aragon, 
known  as  el  Batallador  and  also  as  el  Emperador,  because  his  rule 
extended  over  Navarre  and  a  large  portion  of  Castile,  dying  with- 
out children,  left  his  whole  dominions  to  the  Holy  Sepulchre  and  to 
the  Knights  of  the  Temple  and  of  the  Hospital  in  undivided  thirds ; 
and  though  the  will  was  not  executed,  the  knights  were  promised 
and  doubtless  received  compensation  from  his  successor,  Ramiro  el 
Monje.  More  practical  was  the  liberality  of  Philip  Augustus,  in 
1222,  when  he  left  the  two  Orders  two  thousand  marks  apiece 
absolutely,  and  the  enormous  sum  of  fifty  thousand  marks  each 
on  condition  of  keeping  in  service  for  three  years  three  hundred 
knights  in  the  Holy  Land.  We  can  understand  how,  in  1191,  the 
Templars  could  buy  the  Island  of  Cyprus  from  Richard  of  Eng- 
land for  twenty-five  thousand  silver  marks,  although  they  sold  it 
the  next  year  for  the  same  price  to  Gui,  King  of  Jerusalem.  TVe 
can  understand,  also,  that  this  enormous  development  began  to  ex- 
cite apprehension  and  hostility.  At  the  Council  of  Lateran,  in 
1179,  there  was  bitter  strife  between  the  prelates  and  the  Military 
Orders,  resulting  in  a  decree  which  required  the  Templars  to  sur- 
render all  recently  acquired  churches  and  tithes— an  order  which, 
in  1186,  Urban  III.  defined  as  meaning  all  acquired  within  the 
ten  years  previous  to  the  council." 

This  indicates  that  already  the  prelates  were  beginning  to  feel 
jealous  of  the  new  organization.     In  fact,  the  antagonism  which 


*  Jac.  de  Vitriaco  loc.  cit. — Roberti  de  Monte  Contin.  Sigeb.  Gembl.  (Pistorii, 
op.  cit.  I.  875).— Zurita,  Anales  de  Aragon,  Lib.  I.  c.  52-3. — Art  de  Verifier  les 
Dates  V.  337.— Teulet,  Layettes,  I.  550,  No.  1547.— Grandes  Chroniques,  IV.  86. 
— Gualt,  Mapes  de  Nugis  Curialiuin  Dist.  i.  c.  xxiii.— Hans  Prutz,  Malteser  Ur- 
kunden,  Miiuchen,  1883,  p.  43. 

A  curious  illustration  of  the  prominence  which  the  Templars  were  acquiring 
in  the  social  organization  is  afforded  in  1191,  when  they  were  made  conservators 
of  the  Truce  of  God,  by  which  the  nobles  and  prelates  of  Languedoc  and  Pro- 
vence agreed  that  beasts  and  implements  and  seed  employed  in  agriculture  should 
be  unmolested  in  time  of  war.  For  enforcing  this  the  Templars  were  to  receive  a 
bushel  of  corn  for  every  plough. — Prutz,  op.  cit.  pp.  44-5. 


THE   TEMPLARS.  o^ 

we  have  already  traced  in  the  thirteenth  century  between  the 
Mendicant  Orders  and  the  secular  clergy  was  but  the  repetition 
of  that  which  had  long  existed  with  respect  to  the  Military  Or- 
ders.   These  from  the  first  were  the  especial  favorites  of  the  Holy 
See,  whose  policy  it  was  to  elevate  them  into  a  militia  depending 
solely  on  Rome,  thus  rendering  them  an  instrument  in  extending 
its  influence  and  breaking  down  the  independence  of  the  local 
churches.     Privileges  and  immunities  were  showered  upon  them 
they  were  exempted  from  tolls  and  tithes  and  taxes  of  all  kinds 
their  churches  and  houses  were  endowed  with  the  right  of  asylum 
their  persons  enjoyed  the  inviolability  accorded  to  ecclesiastics 
they  were  released  from  all  feudal  obligations  and  allegiance ;  they 
were  justiciable  only  by  Eome ;  bishops  were  forbidden  to  excom- 
municate them,  and  were  even  ordered  to  refer  to  the  Roman  curia 
all  the  infinite  questions  which  arose  in  local  quarrels.     In  1255, 
after  the  misfortunes  of  the  crusade  of  St.  Louis,  alms  given  to 
their  collectors  were  declared  to  entitle  the  donors  to  Holy  Land 
indulgences.     In  short,  nothing  was  omitted  by  the  popes  that 
would  stimulate  their  growth  and  bind  them  firmly  to  the  chair 
of  St.  Peter.* 

Thus  it  was  inevitable  that  antagonism  should  spring  up  be- 
tween the  secular  hierarchy  and  the  Military  Orders.  The  Tem- 
plars were  continually  complaining  that  the  prelates  were  en- 
deavoring to  oppress  them,  to  impose  exactions,  and  to  regain 
by  various  devices  the  jurisdiction  from  which  the  popes  had 
relieved  them ;  their  right  of  asylum  was  violated ;  the  priests 
interfered  with  their  begging  collectors,  and  repressed  and  inter- 
cepted the  pious  legacies  designed  for  them ;  the  customary  quar- 
rels over  burials  and  burial-fees  were  numerous,  for,  until  the  rise 
of  the  Mendicants,  and  even  afterwards,  it  was  a  frequent  thing 
for  nobles  to  order  their  sepulture  in  the  Temple  or  the  Hospital. 
To  these  complaints  the  popes  ever  lent  a  ready  ear,  and  the  favor- 
itism which  they  manifested  only  gave  a  sharper  edge  to  the  hos- 
tility of  the  defeated  prelates.  In  126-4  there  was  a  threatened 
rupture  between  the  papacy  and  the  Temple.  Etienne  de  Sissy, 
Marshal  of  the  Order  and  Preceptor  of  Apulia,  refused  to  assist 


*  Rymer,  Fcedera,  I.  30.— Can.  10,  11,  Extra,  in.  30.— Prutz,  op.  cit.  pp.  38, 
46,  48,  49,  51.  52,  53,  56-6*1,  64,  76,  78-9. 
III.-16 


242  POLITICAL    HERESY.  — THE    STATE. 

in  the  crusade  preparing  against  Manfred,  and  was  removed  by 
Urban  IV.  When  ordered  to  resign  his  commission  he  boldly 
replied  to  Urban  that  no  pope  had  ever  interfered  with  the  inter- 
nal affairs  of  the  Order,  and  that  he  would  resign  his  office  only 
to  the  Grand  Master  who  had  conferred  it.  Urbau  excommuni- 
cated him,  but  the  Order  sustained  him,  being  discontented  be- 
cause the  succors  levied  for  the  Holy  Land  were  diverted  to  the 
papal  enterprise  against  Manfred.  The  following  year  a  new 
pope,  Clement  IV.,  in  removing  the  excommunication,  bitterly  re- 
proached the  Order  for  its  ingratitude,  and  pointed  out  that  only 
the  support  of  the  papacy  could  sustain  it  against  the  hostility  of 
the  bishops  and  princes,  which  apparently  was  notorious.  Still 
the  Order  held  out,  and  in  common  with  the  Hospitallers  and  Cis- 
tercians, refused  to  pay  a  tithe  to  Charles  of  Anjou,  in  spite  of 
which  Clement  issued  numerous  bulls  confirming  and  enlarging  its 
privileges.* 

That  this  antagonism  on  the  part  of  temporal  and  spiritual 
potentates  had  ample  justification  there  can  be  little  doubt.  If, 
as  we  have  seen,  the  Mendicant  Orders  rapidly  declined  from  the 
enthusiastic  self-abnegation  of  Dominic  and  Francis,  such  a  body 
as  the  Templars,  composed  of  ambitious  and  warlike  knights,  could 
hardly  be  expected  long  to  retain  its  pristine  ascetic  devotion. 
Already,  in  1152,  the  selfish  eagerness  of  the  Grand  Master,  Ber- 
nard de  Tremelai,  to  secure  the  spoils  of  Ascalon  nearly  prevented 
the  capture  of  that  city,  and  the  fall  of  the  Kingdom  of  Jerusalem 
was  hastened  when,  in  1172,  the  savage  ferocity  of  Eudes  de  Saint- 


*  Prutz,  op.  cit.  pp.  38-41,  43,  45,  47-8,  57,  64-9,  75-80.— J.  Delaville  le 
Roulx,  Documents  concernant  les  Templiers  Paris,  1882,  p.  39. — Bini,  Dei  Tem- 
pieri  in  Toscana,  Lucca,  1845,  pp.  453-55. — Raynald.  ann.  1265,  No.  75-6. — Mar- 
tene  Thesaur.  II.  Ill,  118.   ' 

The  systematic  beggary  of  the  Templars  must  have  been  peculiarly  exasper- 
ating both  to  the  secular  clergy  and  the  Mendicants.  Monsignor  Bini  prints  a 
document  of  1244  in  which  the  Preceptor  of  Lucca  gives  to  Albertino  di  Pontre- 
moli  a  commission  to  beg  for  the  Order.  Albertino  employs  a  certain  Aliotto  to 
do  the  begging  from  June  till  the  following  Carnival,  and  pays  him  by  empow- 
ering him  to  beg  on  his  own  account  from  the  Carnival  to  the  octave  of  Easter 
(op.  cit.  pp.  401-2,  439-40).  For  the  disgraceful  squabbles  which  arose  between 
the  secular  clergy  and  the  Military  Orders  over  this  privileged  beggary,  see  Fau- 
con,  Registres  de  Boniface  VIII.  No.  1950,  p.  746. 


THE    TEMPLARS.  243 

Amand,  then  Grand  Master,  prevented  the  conversion  of  the  King 
of  the  Assassins  and  all  his  people.  It  was  not  without  show  of 
justification  that  about  this  time  Walter  Mapes  attributes  the  mis- 
fortunes of  the  Christians  of  the  East  to  the  corruption  of  the  Mili- 
tary Orders.  By  the  end  of  the  century  we  have  seen  from  King 
Richard's  rejoinder  to  Foulques  de  Neuilly  that  Templar  was 
already  synonymous  with  pride,  and  in  1207  Innocent  III.  took 
the  Order  to  task  in  an  epistle  of  violent  denunciation.  His  apos- 
tolic ears,  he  said,  were  frequently  disturbed  with  complaints  of 
their  excesses.  Apostatizing  from  God  and  scandalizing  the  Church, 
their  unbridled  pride  abused  the  enormous  privileges  bestowed  upon 
them.  Employing  doctrines  worthy  of  demons,  they  give  their 
cross  to  every  tramp  who  can  pay  them  two  or  three  pence  a  year, 
and  then  assert  that  these  are  entitled  to  ecclesiastical  services  and 
Christian  burial,  even  though  laboring  under  excommunication. 
Thus  ensnared  by  the  devil  they  ensnare  the  souls  of  the  faithful. 
He  forbears  to  dwell  further  on  these  and  other  wickednesses  by 
which  they  deserve  to  be  despoiled  of  their  privileges,  preferring 
to  hope  that  they  will  free  themselves  from  their  turpitude.  A 
concluding  allusion  to  their  lack  of  respect  towards  papal  legates 
probably  explains  the  venomous  vigor  of  the  papal  attack,  but  the 
accusations  which  it  makes  touch  points  on  which  there  is  other 
conclusive  evidence.  Although  by  the  statutes  of  the  Order  the 
purchase  of  admission,  directly  or  indirectly,  was  simony,  entailing 
expulsion  on  him  who  paid  and  degradation  on  the  preceptor  who 
was  privy  to  it,  there  can  be  no  doubt  that  many  doubtful  charac- 
ters thus  effected  entrance  into  the  Order.  The  papal  letters  and 
privileges  so  freely  bestowed  upon  them  were  moreover  largely 
abused,  to  the  vexation  and  oppression  of  those  with  whom  they 
came  in  contact,  for,  exclusively  justiciable  in  the  Roman  curia, 
they  were  secure  against  all  pleaders  who  could  not  afford  that 
distant,  doubtful,  and  expensive  litigation.  The  evils  thence  arising 
were  greatly  intensified  when  the  policy  was  adopted  of  forming 
a  class  of  serving  brethren,  by  whom  their  extensive  properties 
were  cultivated  and  managed  without  the  cost  of  hired  labor. 
Churls  of  every  degree,  husbandmen,  shepherds,  swineherds,  me- 
chanics, household  servants,  were  thus  admitted  into  the  Order, 
until  they  constituted  at  least  nine  tenths  of  it,  and  although  these 
were  distinguished  by  a  brown  mantle  in  place  of  the  white  gar- 


2±±  POLITICAL    HERESY.  — THE    STATE. 

ment  of  the  knights,  and  although  they  complained  of  the  con- 
tempt and  oppression  with  which  they  were  treated  by  their 
knightly  brethren,  nevertheless,  in  their  relations  with  the  out- 
side  world,  they  were  full  members  of  the  Order,  shrouded 
with  its  inviolability  and  entitled  to  all  its  privileges,  which 
they  were  not  likely  by  moderation  to  render  less  odious  to  the 
community." 

Thus  the  knights  furnished  ample  cause  for  external  hostility 
and  internal  disquiet,  though  there  is  probably  no  ground  for  the 
accusation  that,  in  1229,  they  betrayed  Frederic  II.  to  the  infidel,  and, 
in  1250,  St.  Louis  to  the  Soldan  of  Egypt.  Yet  Frederic  II.  doubt- 
less had  ample  reason  for  dissatisfaction  with  their  conduct  dur- 
ing his  crusade,  which  he  revenged  by  expelling  them  from  Sicily 
in  1229,  and  confiscating  their  property ;  and  though  he  recalled 
them  soon  after  and  assumed  to  restore  their  possessions,  he  re- 
tained a  large  portion.  Still,  pious  liberality  continued  to  increase 
the  wealth  of  the  Order,  though  as  the  Christian  possessions  in  the 


*  Guillel.  Tyrii  Hist.  Lib.  xvn.  c.  27 ;  xx.  31-2.— Gualt.  Mapes  de  Nugis 
Curialium  Dist.  i.  c.  xx. — Innoc.  PP.  III.  Regest.  x.  121.  Cf.  xv.  131. — Regie  et 
Statuts  secrets,  §  173,  p.  389.— Michelet,  Proces  des  Templiers,  I.  39;  II.  9,  83, 
140,  186-7,  406-7  (Collection  de  Documents  inedits,  Paris,  1841-51). 

When,  in  1307,  the  Templars  at  Beaucaire  were  seized,  out  of  sixty  arrested, 
five  were  knights,  one  a  priest,  and  fifty-four  were  serving  brethren  ;  in  June,  1310, 
out  of  thirty-three  prisoners  in  the  Chateau  d'Alais,  there  were  four  knights  and 
one  priest,  with  twenty-eight  serving  brethren  (Yaissette,  IV.  141).  In  the  trials 
which  have  reached  us  the  proportion  of  knights  is  even  less.  The  serving  breth- 
ren occasionally  reached  the  dignity  of  preceptor;  but  how  little  this  implies  is 
shown  by  the  examination,  in  June,  1310,  of  Giovanni  di  Neritone,  Preceptor 
of  Castello  Yillari,  a  serving  brother,  who  speaks  of  himself  as  "  simplex  et  rus- 
ticus"  (Schottmiiller,  Der  Ausgang  des  Templer-Ordens,  Berlin,  1887,  II.  125, 
130). 

The  pride  of  birth  in  the  Order  is  illustrated  by  the  rule  that  none  could  be 
admitted  as  knights  except  those  of  knightly  descent.  In  the  Statutes  a  case  is 
cited  of  a  knight  who  was  received  as  such ;  those  who  were  of  his  country  de- 
clared that  he  was  not  the  son  of  a  knight.  He  was  sent  for  from  Antioch  to  a 
chapter  where  this  was  found  to  be  true,  when  the  white  mantle  was  removed 
and  a  brown  one  put  on  him.  His  receptor  was  then  in  Europe,  and  when  he 
returned  to  Syria  he  was  called  to  account.  He  justified  himself  by  his  having 
acted  under  the  orders  of  his  commander  of  Poitou.  This  was  found  to  be  true  ; 
otherwise,  and  but  that  he  was  a  good  knight  {proudun*),  he  would  have  lost  the 
habit  (Regie,  §  125,  pp.  462-3). 


THE    TEMPLARS.  245 

East  shrank  more  and  more,  people  began  to  attribute  the  cease- 
less misfortunes  to  the  bitter  jealousy  and  animosity  existing  be- 
tween the  rival  Orders  of  the  Temple  and  the  Hospital,  which  in 
1243  had  broken  out  into  open  war  in  Palestine,  to  the  great  com- 
fort of  the  infidel.  A  remedy  was  naturally  sought  in  a  union  of 
the  two  Orders,  together  with  that  of  the  Teutonic  Knights.  At 
the  Council  of  Lyons,  in  1274,  Gregory  X.  vainly  endeavored  to  ef- 
fect this,  but  the  countervailing  influences,  including,  it  was  said, 
the  gold  of  the  brethren,  were  too  powerful.  In  these  reproaches 
perhaps  the  Orders  were  held  to  an  undeserved  accountability, 
for  while  their  quarrels  and  the  general  misconduct  of  the  Latins 
in  Palestine  did  much  to  wreck  the  kingdom  of  Jerusalem,  the 
real  responsibility  lay  rather  with  the  papacy.  When  thousands 
of  heretics  were  sent  as  crusaders  in  punishment,  the  glory  of  the 
service  was  fatally  tarnished.  When  money  raised  and  vows  taken 
for  the  Holy  Land  were  diverted  to  the  purposes  of  the  papal 
power  in  Italy,  when  the  doctrine  was  publicly  announced  that 
the  home  interests  of  the  Holy  See  were  more  important  than  the 
recovery  of  the  Holy  Sepulchre,  the  enthusiasm  of  Christendom 
against  the  infidel  was  chilled.  When  salvation  could  be  gained 
at  almost  any  time  by  a  short  term  of  service  near  home  in  the 
quarrels  of  the  Church,  whether  on  the  Weser  or  in  Lombardy, 
the  devotion  which  had  carried  thousands  to  the  Syrian  deserts 
found  a  less  rugged  and  a  safer  path  to  heaven.  It  is  easy  thus 
to  understand  how  in  the  development  of  papal  aggrandizement 
through  the  thirteenth  century  recruits  and  money  were  lacking  to 
maintain  against  the  countless  hordes  of  Tartars  the  conquests  of 
Godfrey  of  Bouillon.  In  addition  to  all  this  the  Holy  Land  was 
made  a  penal  settlement  whither  were  sent  the  malefactors  of 
Europe,  rendering  the  Latin  colony  a  horde  of  miscreants  whose 
crimes  deserved  and  whose  disorders  invited  the  vengeance  of 
Heaven.*  

*  Matt.  Paris,  ann.  1228,  1243  (Ed.  1644,  p.  240,  420).— -Mansuet  le  Jeune, 
Hist,  des  Templiers,  Paris,  1789, 1.  340-1.— Prutz,  op.  cit.  pp.  60-1.— Mag.  Cbron. 
Belgic.  ann.  1274.— Faucon,  Registres  de  Boniface  VIII.  No.  1691-2, 1697.— Marin. 
Sanuti  Secret.  Fidel.  Lib.  in.  P.  ix.  c.  1,  2  (Bongars,  II.  188-9). 

The  Hospital  was  open  to  the  same  reproaches  as  the  Temple.  In  1238 
Gregory  IX.  vigorously  assailed  the  Knights  of  St  John  for  their  abuse  of  the 
privileges  bestowed  on  thein — their  unchastity  and  the  betrayal  of  the  cause  of 


246  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE    STATE. 

With  the  fall  of  Acre,  in  1291,  the  Christians  were  driven 
definitely  from  the  shores  of  Syria,  causing  intense  grief  and  in- 
dignation throughout  Europe.  In  that  disastrous  siege,  brought 
on  by  the  perfidy  of  a  band  of  crusaders  who  refused  to  observe 
an  existing  truce,  the  Hospital  won  more  glory  than  the  Temple, 
although  the  Grand  Master,  Guillaume  de  Beaujeu,  had  been  chosen 
to  command  the  defence,  and  fell  bravely  fighting  for  the  cross. 
After  the  surrender  and  massacre,  his  successor,  the  monk  Gaudini, 
sailed  for  Cyprus  with  ten  knights,  the  sole  survivors  of  five  hun- 
dred who  had  held  out  to  the  last.  Again,  not  without  reason,  the 
cry  went  up  that  the  disaster  Avas  the  result  of  the  quarrels  be- 
tween the  Military  Orders,  and  Nicholas  IV.  promptly  sent  letters 
to  the  kings  and  prelates  of  Christendom  asking  their  opinions  on 
the  project  of  uniting  them,  in  view  of  the  projected  crusade  which 
was  to  sail  on  St.  John's  day,  1293,  under  Edward  I.  of  England. 
At  least  one  affirmative  answer  was  received  from  the  provincial 
council  of  Salzburg,  but  ere  it  reached  Rome  Nicholas  was  dead. 
A  long  interregnum,  followed  by  the  election  of  the  hermit  Pier 
Morrone,  put  an  end  to  the  project  for  the  time,  but  it  was  again 


God  in  Palestine.     He  even  asserts  that  there  are  not  a  few  heretics  among  them. 
— Raynald.  aim.  1238,  No.  31-2. 

A  sirvente  by  a  Templar,  evidently  written  soon  after  the  fall  of  Acre,  alludes 
bitterly  to  the  sacrifice  made  of  the  Holy  Land  in  favor  of  the  ambition  and 
cupidity  of  the  Holy  See — 

"  Lo  papa  fa  de  perdon  gran  largueza 
Contr'  Alamans  ab  Aries  e  Frances ; 
E  sai  mest  nos  mostram  gran  cobeeza, 
Quar  nostras  crotz  van  per  crotz  de  tornes ; 
E  qui  vol  camjar  Romania 
Per  la  guerra  de  Lombardia? 
Nostres  legatz,  don  yeu  vos  die  per  ver 
Qu'els  vendon  Dieu  el  perdon  per  aver." — 

Meyer,  Eecueil  cfanciens  Teztes,  p.  96. 
It  is  also  to  be  borne  in  mind  that  indulgences  were  vulgarized  in  many  other 
ways.  When  St.  Francis  announced  to  Honorius  III.  that  Christ  had  sent  him  to 
obtain  plenary  pardons  for  those  who  should  visit  the  Church  of  S.  Maria  di 
Porziuncola,  the  cardinals  at  once  objected  that  this  would  nullify  the  indulgences 
for  the  Holy  Land,  and  Honorius  thereupon  limited  the  Portiuncula  indulgence 
to  the  twenty-four  hours  commencing  with  the  vespers  of  August  1. — Amonis 
Legenda  S.  Francisci,  Append,  c.  xxxiii. 


THE    TEMPLARS.  247 

taken  up  by  Boniface  VIII. ,  to  be  interrupted  and  laid  aside,  prob- 
ably by  his  engrossing  quarrel  with  Philippe  le  Bel.  What  was 
the  drift  of  public  opinion  at  the  time  is  probably  reflected  in  a 
tract  on  the  recovery  of  the  Holy  Land  addressed  to  Edward  I. 
It  is  there  proposed  that  the  two  Orders,  whose  scandalous  quar- 
rels have  rendered  them  the  object  of  scorn,  shall  be  fused  together 
and  confined  to  their  eastern  possessions,  which  should  be  sufficient 
for  their  support,  while  their  combined  revenues  from  their  west- 
ern property,  estimated  at  eight  hundred  thousand  livres  Tourr.ois 
per  annum,  be  employed  to  further  the  crusade.  Evidently  the 
idea  was  spreading  that  their  wealth  could  be  seized  and  used  to 
better  purpose  than  it  was  likely  to  be  in  their  hands.* 

Thus  the  Order  was  somewhat  discredited  in  popular  estima- 
tion when,  in  1297,  Jacques  de  Molay,  whose  terrible  fate  has  cast 
a  sombre  shadow  over  his  name  through  the  centuries,  was  elected 
Grand  Master,  after  a  vigorous  and  bitter  opposition  by  the  par- 
tisans of  Hugues  de  Peraud.  A  few  years  of  earnest  struggle  to 
regain  a  foothold  in  Palestine  seemed  to  exhaust  the  energy  and 
resources  of  the  Order,  and  it  became  quiescent  in  Cyprus.  Its 
next  exploit,  though  not  official,  was  not  of  a  nature  to  conciliate 
public  opinion.  Charles  de  Valois,  the  evil  genius  of  his  brother 
Philippe  le  Bel,  and  of  his  nephews,  in  1300  married  Catherine, 
granddaughter  of  Baldwin  II.  of  Constantinople,  and  titular  em- 
press. In  1306  he  proposed  to  make  good  his  wife's  claims  on 
the  imperial  throne,  and  he  found  a  ready  instrument  in  Clement 
V.,  who  persuaded  himself  that  the  attempt  would  not  be  a  weak- 
ening of  Christianity  in  the  East,  but  a  means  of  recovering  Pales- 
tine, or  at  least  of  reducing  the  Greek  Church  to  subjection.  He 
therefore  endeavored  to  unite  the  Italian  republics  and  princes  in 
this  crusade  against  Christians.  Charles  II.  of  Naples  undertook 
an  expedition  in  conjunction  with  the  Templars.  A  fleet  was 
fitted  out  under  the  command  of  Koger,  a  Templar  of  high  reputa- 
tion for  skill  and  audacity.  It  captured  Thessalonica,  but  in  place 
of  actively  pursuing  Andronicus  II.,  the  Templars  turned  their 

*  Mansuet,  op.  cit.  II.  101, 133.— De  Excidio  Urbis  Acconis  (Martene  Ampl. 
Coll.  V.  757).— Raynald.  arm.  1291,  No.  30,  31.— Archives  Nat.  de  France,  J.  431, 
No.  40.— Chron.  Salisburg.  arm.  1291  (Canisii  et  Basnage  III,  n.  489).— Annal. 
Eberhard.  Altahens.  (lb.  IV.  229).— De  Recuperatione  Tense  Sanctae  (Bongars,  II. 
320-1). 


24:8  POLITICAL    HERESY.  — THE    STATE. 

arms  against  the  Latin  princes  of  Greece,  ravaged  cruelly  the  shores 
of  Thrace  and  the  Morea,  and  returned  with  immense  booty,  hav- 
ing aroused  enmities  which  were  an  element  in  their  downfall.  In 
contrast  to  this  the  Hospitallers  were  acquiring  fresh  renown  as 
the  champions  of  Christ  by  gallantly  conquering,  after  a  four 
years'  struggle,  the  island  of  Rhodes,  in  which  they  so  long  main- 
tained the  cause  of  Christianity  in  the  East.  In  1306  Clement 
Y.  sent  for  de  Molay  and  Guillaume  de  Villaret,  Grand  Master  of 
the  Hospitallers,  to  consult  about  a  new  crusade  and  the  often  dis- 
cussed project  of  the  union  of  the  Orders.  He  told  them  to  come 
as  secretly  as  possible,  but  while  the  Hospitaller,  engrossed  with 
preparations  for  the  siege  of  Rhodes,  excused  himself,  de  Molay 
came  in  state,  with  a  retinue  of  sixty  knights,  and  manifested  no 
intention  of  returning  to  his  station  in  the  East.  This  well  might 
arouse  the  question  whether  the  Templars  were  about  to  abandon 
their  sphere  of  duty,  and  if  so,  what  were  the  ambitious  schemes 
which  might  lead  them  to  transfer  their  headquarters  to  France. 
The  Teutonic  knights  in  withdrawing  from  the  East  were  carving 
out  for  themselves  a  kingdom  amid  the  Pagans  of  northeastern 
Europe.    Had  the  Templars  any  similar  aspirations  nearer  home  \  * 


*  Raynald.  arm.  1306.  No.  3-5,  12.— Regest,  Clement.  PP.  V.  (Ed.  Benedict.  T. 
I.  pp.  40-46:  T.  II.  p.  55,  58,  Romse,  1885-6).— Mansuet,  op.  cit.  II.  132.— Ray- 
nouard,  Monuments  historiques  relatifs  a  la  Condamnation  des  Chevaliers  du  Tem- 
ple, Paris,  1813,  pp.  17,46. 

The  summons  to  the  Grand  Master  of  the  Hospital  is  dated  June  6.  1306, 
(Regest.  Clem.  PP.  V.  T.  I.  p.  190).  That  to  de  Molay  was  probably  issued  at  the 
same  time.  From  some  briefs  of  Clement,  June  13, 1306,  in  favor  of  Humbert 
Blanc,  Preceptor  of  Auvergne,  it  would  seem  that  the  latter  was  engaged  in  some 
crusading  enterprise  (Ibid.  pp.  191-2),  probably  in  connection  with  the  attempt 
of  Charles  of  Valois.  When  Hugues  de  Peraud,  however,  and  other  chiefs  of  the 
Order  were  about  to  sail,  in  November,  Clement  retained  them  (lb.  T.  II.  p.  5). 

It  has  rather  been  the  fashion  with  historians  to  assume  that  de  Molay  trans- 
ferred the  headquarters  of  the  Order  from  Cyprus  to  Paris.  Yet  when  the  papal 
orders  for  arrest  reached  Cyprus,  on  May  27, 1308,  the  marshal,  draper,  and  treas- 
urer surrendered  themselves  with  others,  showing  that  there  had  been  no  thought 
of  removing  the  active  administration  of  the  Order. — (Dupuy,  Traitez  concernant 
FHistoire  de  France,  Ed.  1700,  pp.  63,  132).  Raimbaut  de  Caron,  Preceptor  of 
Cyprus,  apparently  had  accompanied  de  Molay.  and  was  arrested  with  him  in  the 
Temple  of  Paris  (Proces  des  Templiers,  II.  374),  but  with  this  exception  all  the 
principal  knights  seized  were  only  local  dignitaries. 

I  think  also  that  Schottmuller  (Der  Untergang  des  Ternpler-Ordens,  Berlin, 


THE    TEMPLARS.  249 

Suspicions  of  the  kind  might  not  unnaturally  be  excited,  and 
yet  be  wholly  without  foundation.  Modern  writers  have  exer- 
cised their  ingenuity  in  conjecturing  that  there  was  a  plot  on  hand 
for  the  Templars  to  seize  the  south  of  France  and  erect  it  into  an 
independent  kingdom.  The  Order  had  early  multiplied  rapidly 
in  the  provinces  from  the  Garonne  to  the  Eh  one ;  it  is  assumed 
that  they  were  deeply  tinctured  with  Catharism,  and  held  relations 
with  the  concealed  heretics  in  those  regions.  All  this  is  the  sheer- 
est assumption  without  the  slightest  foundation.  There  was  not 
a  trace  of  Catharism  in  the  Order,*  and  we  have  seen  how  by  this 
time  the  Cathari  of  Languedoc  had  been  virtually  exterminated, 
and  how  the  land  had  been  Gallicized  by  the  Inquisition.  Such 
an  alliance  would  have  been  a  source  of  weakness,  not  of  strength, 
for  it  would  have  brought  upon  them  all  Europe  in  arms,  and  had 
there  been  a  shred  of  evidence  to  that  effect,  Philippe  le  Bel  would 
have  made  the  most  of  it.  Neither  can  it  be  assumed  that  thev 
were  intriguing  with  the  discontented,  orthodox  population.  Ber- 
nard Delicieux  and  the  Carcassais  would  never  have  turned  to  the 
feeble  Ferrand  of  Majorca  if  they  could  have  summoned  to  their 
assistance  the  powerful  Order  of  the  Temple.  Yet  even  the  Order 
of  the  Temple,  however  great  might  have  been  its  aggregate,  was 
fatally  weakened  for  such  ambitious  projects  by  being  scattered 
in  isolated  fragments  over  the  whole  extent  of  Europe ;  and  its 
inability  to  concentrate  its  forces  for  either  aggression  or  defence 
was  shown  when  it  surrendered  with  scarce  an  effort  at  self-pres- 
ervation in  one  country  after  another.  Besides,  it  was  by  no 
means  so  numerous  and  wealthy  as  has  been  popularly  supposed. 
The  dramatic  circumstances  of  its  destruction  have  inflamed  the 
imagination  of  all  who  have  written  about  it,  leading  to  a  not  un- 
natural exaggeration  in  contrasting  its  prosperity  and  its  misery. 
An  anonymous  contemporary  tells  us  that  the  Templars  were  so 


1887,  I.  66,99;  II.  38)  sufficiently  proves  the  incredibility  of  the  story  of  the  im- 
mense treasure  brought  to  France  by  de  Molay,  and  he  further  points  out  (I.  98) 
that  the  preservation  of  the  archives  of  the  Order  in  Malta  shows  that  they  could 
not  have  been  removed  to  Fiance. 

*  Perhaps  the  most  detailed  and  authoritative  contemporary  account  ot  the 
downfall  of  the  Templars  is  that  of  Bernard  Gui  (Flor.  Chronic,  ap.  Bouquet 
XXI.  716  sqq.).  It  is  impossible  to  doubt  that  had  there  been  anything  savoring 
of  Catharism  in  the  Order  he  would  have  scented  it  out  and  alluded  to  it. 


250  POLITICAL    HERESY.  — THE    STATE. 

rich  and  powerful  that  they  could  scarce  have  been  suppressed  but 
for  the  secret  and  sudden  movement  of  Philippe  le  Bel.  Villani, 
who  was  also  a  contemporary,  says  that  their  power  and  wealth 
were  well-nigh  incomputable.  As  time  went  on  conceptions  be- 
came magnified  by  distance.  Trithemius  assures  us  that  it  was  the 
richest  of  all  the  monastic  Orders,  not  only  in  gold  and  silver,  but 
in  its  vast  dominions,  towns  and  castles  in  all  the  lands  of  Europe. 
Modern  writers  have  even  exceeded  this  in  their  efforts  to  present 
definite  figures.  Maillard  de  Chambure  assumes  that  at  the  time 
of  its  downfall  it  numbered  thirtv  thousand  knights  with  a  revenue 
of  eight  million  livres  Tournois.  AYilcke  estimates  its  income  at 
twenty  million  thalers  of  modern  money,  and  asserts  that  in  France 
alone  it  could  keep  in  the  field  an  army  of  fifteen  thousand  cavaliers. 
Zockler  calculates  its  income  at  fifty-four  millions  of  francs,  and 
that  it  numbered  twenty  thousand  knights.  Even  the  cautious 
Havemann  echoes  the  extravagant  statement  that  in  wealth  and 
power  it  could  rival  all  the  princes  of  Christendom,  while  Schott- 
miiller  assumes  that  in  France  alone  there  were  fifteen  thousand 
brethren,  and  over  twenty  thousand  in  the  whole  Order.* 

The  peculiar  secrecy  in  which  all  the  affairs  of  the  Order  were 
shrouded  renders  such  estimates  purely  conjectural.  As  to  num- 
bers, it  has  been  overlooked  that  the  great  body  of  members  were 
serving  brethren,  not  fighting-men — herdsmen,  husbandmen,  and 
menials  employed  on  the  lands  and  in  the  houses  of  the  knights, 
and  adding  little  to  their  effective  force.  When  they  considered  it 
a  legitimate  boast  that  in  the  one  hundred  and  eighty  years  of 
their  active  existence  twenty  thousand  of  the  brethren  had  per- 
ished in  Palestine,  we  can  see  that  at  no  time  could  the  roll  of 
knights  have  exceeded  a  few  thousand  at  most.  At  the  Council 
of  Yienne  the  dissolution  of  the  Order  was  urged  on  the  ground 
that  more  than  two  thousand  depositions  of  witnesses  had  been 
taken,  and  as  these  depositions  covered  virtually  all  the  prisoners 


*  Wilcke,  Geschichte  des  Ordens  der  Tempelherren,  II.  Ausgabe,  1860,  n.  51, 
103-4,  183.— Chron.  Anonyme  (Bouquet,  XXI.  149).— Villani  Cron.  vin.  92.— 
Mag.  Chron.  Belgic.  (Pistor.  III.  155).— Trithem.  Chron.  Hirsaug.  ann.  1307. — 
Regie  et  Statuts  secrets,  p.  64. — Real-Encyklop.  XV.  305. — Havemann,  Geschichte 
des  Ausgangs  des  Tempelherrenordens,  Stuttgart,  1846,  p.  165.  —  Schottin tiller, 
op.  cit.  I.  236,  695. 


THE    TEMPLARS.  251 

examined  in  France,  England,  Spain,  Italy,  and  Germany,  whoso 
evidence  could  be  used,  it  shows  that  the  whole  number  can  only 
have  been  insignificant  in  comparison  with  what  had  been  general- 
ly imagined.  Cyprus  was  the  headquarters  of  the  Order  after  the 
fall  of  Acre,  yet  at  the  time  of  the  seizure  there  were  but  one  hun- 
dred and  eighteen  members  there  of  all  ranks,  and  the  numbers 
with  which  we  meet  in  the  trials  everywhere  are  ludicrously  out 
of  proportion  with  the  enormous  total  popularly  attributed  to 
the  Order.  A  contemporary,  of  warmly  papalist  sympathies,  ex- 
presses his  grief  at  the  penalties  righteously  incurred  by  fifteen 
thousand  champions  of  Christ,  which  may  be  taken  as  an  approxi- 
mate guess  at  the  existing  number ;  and  if  among  these  we  assume 
fifteen  hundred  knights,  we  shall  probably  be  rather  over  than  un- 
der the  reality.  As  for  the  wealth  of  the  Order,  in  the  general  ef- 
fort to  appropriate  its  possessions  it  was  every  one's  interest  to  con- 
ceal the  details  of  the  aggregate,  but  we  chance  to  have  a  standard 
which  shows  that  the  estimates  of  its  supereminent  riches  are  gross- 
ly exaggerated.  In  1244  Matthew  Paris  states  that  it  possessed 
throughout  Christendom  nine  thousand  manors,  while  the  Hospi- 
tallers had  nineteen  thousand.  Nowhere  was  it  more  prosperous 
than  in  Aquitaine,  and  about  the  year  1300,  in  a  computation  of  a 
tithe  granted  to  Philippe  le  Bel,  in  the  province  of  Bordeaux,  the 
Templars  are  set  down  at  six  thousand  livres,  the  Hospitallers  at 
the  same,  while  the  Cistercians  are  registered  for  twelve  thousand. 
In  the  accounts  of  a  royal  collector  in  1293  there  are  specified  in 
Auvergne  fourteen  Temple  preceptories,  paying  in  all  three  hun- 
dred and  ninety-two  livres,  while  the  preceptories  of  the  Hospital- 
lers number  twenty-four,  with  a  payment  of  three  hundred  and 
sixty-four  livres.  It  will  be  remembered  that  a  contemporary 
writer  estimates  the  combined  revenues  of  the  two  Orders  at  eight 
hundred  thousand  livres  Tournois  per  annum,  and  of  this  the  larger 
portion  probably  belonged  to  the  Hospital.* 


*  Proces  des  Templiers,  I.  144.— Raynald.  aim.  1307,  No.  12 ;  arm.  1311,  No. 
53.— Schottmuller,  op.  cit.  I.  465.—  Ferreti  Vicentini  Hist.  (Muratori  S.  R.  I.  IX. 
1018).— Matt.  Paris,  aim.  1244  (p.  417).— Dom  Bouquet,  XXI.  545.— Chassaing, 
Spicilegium  Brivatense,  pp.  212-13. 

An  illustration  of  the  exaggerations  current  as  to  the  Templars  is  seen  in  the 
assertion,  confidently  made,  that  in  P.ouss'llon  and  Cerdagne  the  Order  owned 


252  POLITICAL   HERESY.  — THE   STATE. 

Yet  the  wealth  of  the  Order  was  more  than  sufficient  to  excite 
the  cupidity  of  royal  freebooters,  and  its  power  and  privileges 
quite  enough  to  arouse  distrust  in  the  mind  of  a  less  suspicious 
despot  than  Philippe  le  Bel.  Many  ingenious  theories  have  been 
advanced  to  explain  his  action,  but  they  are  superfluous.  In  his 
quarrel  with  Boniface  VIIL,  though  the  Templars  were  accused 
of  secretly  sending  money  to  Eome  in  defiance  of  his  prohihition, 
they  stood  by  him  and  signed  an  act  approving  and  confirming 
the  assembly  of  the  Louvre  in  June,  1303,  where  Boniface  was  for- 
mally accused  of  heresy,  and  an  appeal  was  made  to  a  future 
council  to  be  assembled  on  the  subject.  So  cordial,  in  fact,  was  the 
understanding  between  the  king  and  the  Templars  that  royal  let- 
ters of  July  10,  1303,  show  that  the  collection  of  all  the  royal  rev- 
enues throughout  France  was  intrusted  to  Hugues  de  Peraud,  the 
Visitor  of  France,  who  had  narrowly  missed  obtaining  the  Grand 
Mastership  of  the  Order.  In  June,  1304,  Philippe  confirmed  all 
their  privileges,  and  in  October  he  issued  an  Ordonnance  granting 
them  additional  ones  and  speaking  of  their  merits  in  terms  of 
warm  appreciation.  They  lent  him,  in  1299,  the  enormous  sum  of 
five  hundred  thousand  livres  for  the  dowry  of  his  sister.  As  late 
as  1306,  when  Hugues  de  Peraud  had  suffered  a  loss  of  two  thou- 
sand silver  marks  deposited  with  Tommaso  and  Yanno  Mozzi,  Flor 
entine  bankers,  who  fraudulently  disappeared,  Philippe  promptly 
intervened  and  ordered  restitution  of  the  sum  by  Aimon,  Abbot  of 
S.  Antoine,  who  had  gone  security  for  the  bankers.  When  in  his 
extreme  financial  straits  he  debased  the  coinage  until  a  popular 
insurrection  was  excited  in  Paris,  it  was  in  the  Temple  that  he 
took  refuge,  and  it  was  the  Templars  that  defended  him  against 
the  assaults  of  the  mob.  But  these  very  obligations  were  too  great 
to  be  incurred  by  a  monarch  who  was  striving  to  render  himself 
absolute,  and  the  recollection  of  them  could  hardly  fail  to  suggest 
that  the  Order  was  a  dangerous  factor  in  a  kingdom  where  feudal 


half  the  land,  while  an  examination  of  its  Cartulary  shows  that  in  reality  it  pos- 
sessed but  four  lordships,  together  with  fragmentary  rights  over  rents,  tithes,  or 
villeins  in  seventy  other  places.  A  single  abbey,  that  of  St.  Michel  de  Cuxa, 
possessed  thirty  lordships  and  similar  rights  in  two  hundred  other  places,  and 
there  were  two  other  abbeys,  Aries,  and  Cornelia  de  Conflent,  each  richer  than 
the  Templars. — Allart,  Bulletin  de  la  Societe  Agricole,  Scientifique  et  Litteraire 
des  Pyrenees  Orientales,  T.  XV.  pp.  107-8. 


THE    TEMPLARS.  253 

institutions  were  being  converted  into  a  despotism.  While  it 
might  not  have  strength  to  sever  a  portion  of  the  provinces  and 
erect  an  independent  principality,  it  might  at  any  moment  become 
a  disagreeable  element  in  a  contest  with  the  great  feudatories  to 
whom  the  knights  were  bound  by  common  sympathies  and  inter- 
ests. He  was  engaged  in  reducing  them  to  subjection  by  the  ex- 
tension of  the  royal  jurisdiction,  and  the  Templars  were  subject 
to  no  jurisdiction  save  that  of  the  Holy  See.  They  were  not  his 
subjects  ;  they  owed  him  no  obedience  or  allegiance ;  he  could  not 
summon  them  to  perform  military  service  as  he  could  his  bishops, 
but  they  enjoyed  the  right  to  declare  war  and  make  peace  on  their 
own  account  without  responsibility  to  any  one ;  they  were  clothed 
in  all  the  personal  inviolability  of  ecclesiastics,  and  he  possessed  no 
means  of  control  over  them  as  he  did  with  the  hierarchy  of  the 
Gallican  Church.  They  were  exempt  from  all  taxes  and  tolls  and 
customs  dues ;  their  lands  contributed  nothing  to  his  necessities, 
save  when  he  could  wring  from  the  pope  the  concession  of  a  tithe. 
While  thus  in  every  way  independent  of  him,  they  were  bound  by 
rules  of  the  blindest  and  most  submissive  obedience  to  their  own 
superiors.  The  command  of  the  Master  was  received  as  an  order 
from  God ;  no  member  could  have  a  lock  upon  a  bag  or  trunk, 
could  bathe  or  let  blood,  could  open  a  letter  from  a  kinsman  with- 
out permission  of  his  commander,  and  any  disobedience  forfeited 
the  habit  and  entailed  imprisonment  in  chains,  with  its  indelible 
disabilities.  It  is  true  that  in  1295  there  had  been  symptoms  of 
turbulence  in  the  Order,  when  the  intervention  of  Boniface  YIII. 
was  required  to  enforce  subjection  to  the  Master,  but  this  had 
passed  away,  and  the  discipline  within  its  ranks  was  a  religious 
obligation  which  rendered  it  vastly  more  efficient  for  action  than 
the  elastic  allegiance  of  the  vassal  to  his  seigneur.  Such  a  body 
of  armed  warriors  was  an  anomaly  in  a  feudal  organization,  and 
when  the  Templars  seemed  to  have  abandoned  their  military  ac- 
tivity in  the  East,  Philippe,  in  view  of  their  wealth  and  numbers 
in  France,  may  well  have  regarded  them  as  a  possible  obstacle  to 
his  schemes  of  monarchical  aggrandizement  to  be  got  rid  of  at  the 
first  favorable  moment.  At  the  commencement  of  his  reign  he 
had  endeavored  to  put  a  stop  to  the  perpetual  acquisitions  of  both 
the  religious  Orders  and  the  Templars,  through  which  increasing 
bodies  of  land  were  falling  under  mainmorte,  and  the  fruitlessness 


25±  POLITICAL   HERESY.  — THE   STATE. 

of  the  effort  must  have  strengthened  his  convictions  of  its  neces- 
sity. If  it  be  asked  why  he  attacked  the  Templars  rather  than  the 
Hospitallers,  the  answer  is  probably  to  be  found  in  the  fact  that 
the  Temple  was  the  weaker  of  the  two,  while  the  secrecy  shroud- 
ing its  ritual  rendered  it  an  object  of  popular  suspicion.* 

Walsingham  asserts  that  Philippe's  design  in  assailing  the  Tem- 
plars was  to  procure  for  one  of  his  younger  sons  the  title  of  King  of 
Jerusalem,  with  the  Templar  possessions  as  an  appanage.  Such  a 
project  was  completely  within  the  line  of  thought  of  the  time,  and 
would  have  resulted  in  precipitating  Europe  anew  upon  Syria.  It 
may  possibly  have  been  a  motive  at  the  outset,  and  was  gravely 
discussed  in  the  Council  of  Vienne  in  favor  of  Philippe  le  Long, 
but  it  is  evident  that  no  sovereign  outside  of  France  would  have 
permitted  the  Templar  dominions  within  his  territories  to  pass 
under  the  control  of  a  member  of  the  aspiring  house  of  Capet.f 

For  the  explanation  of  Philippe's  action,  however,  we  need 
hardly  look  further  than  to  financial  considerations.  He  was  in 
desperate  straits  for  money  to  meet  the  endless  drain  of  the  Flem- 
ish war.  He  had  imposed  taxes  until  some  of  his  subjects  were  in 
revolt,  and  others  were  on  the  verge  of  it.  He  had  debased  the 
currency  until  he  earned  the  name  of  the  Counterfeiter,  had  found 
himself  utterly  unable  to  redeem  his  promises,  and  had  discovered 
by  experience  that  of  all  financial  devices  it  was  the  most  costly 
and  ruinous.  His  resources  were  exhausted  and  his  scruples  were 
few.  The  stream  of  confiscations  from  Languedoc  was  beginning  to 
run  dry,  while  the  sums  which  it  had  supplied  to  the  royal  treasury 
for  more  than  half  a  century  had  shown  the  profit  which  was  de- 
rivable from  well-applied  persecution  of  heresy.     He  had  just  car- 


*  Du  Puy,  Hist,  du  Differend,  Preuves,  pp.  136-7.— Baudouin,  Lettres  inedites 
de  Philippe  le  Bel,  p.  163.— Maillard  de  Chambure,  p.  61. — Grandes  Chroniques,V. 
173.— Raynouard,  pp.  14,  21.— Ryraer,  I.  30.— Regest.  Clement.  PP.  V.  T.  I.  p.  192 
(Ed.  Benedict.  Romse,  1885).— Prutz,  pp.  23,  31,  38,  46,  49,  51-2,  59,  76,  78,  79, 
80.— Regie  et  Statuts,  §  29,  p.  226  ;  §  58,  pp.  249,  254  ;  §  126,  pp.  463-4.— Thomas, 
Registres  de  Boniface  VIII.  T.  I.  No.  490.— Baudouin,  op.  cit,  p.  212. 

Schottmiiller  (Der  Untergang  des  Templer-Ordens,  Berlin,  1887,  I.  65)  con- 
jectures that  the  loan  of  five  hundred  thousand  livres  to  Philippe  is  probably  a 
popular  error  arising  from  the  intervention  of  the  Templars  as  bankers  in  the 
payment  of  the  dowry. 

f  D'Argentre  I.  i.  280.— Wilcke,  op.  cit.  II.  304-6. 


THE    TEMPLARS.  255 

ried  out  a  financial  expedient  of  the  same  kind  as  his  dealings  with 
the  Templars,  by  arresting  all  the  Jews  of  the  kingdom  simultane- 
ously, stripping  them  of  their  property,  and  banishing  them  under 
pain  of  death.  A  memorandum  of  questions  for  consideration, 
still  preserved  in  the  Tresor  des  Chartres,  shows  that  he  expected 
to  benefit  in  the  same  way  from  the  confiscation  of  the  Templar 
possessions,  while,  as  we  shall  see,  he  overlooked  the  fact  that 
these,  as  ecclesiastical  property,  were  subject  to  the  imprescriptible 
rights  of  the  Church.* 

The  stories  about  Squin  de  Florian,  a  renegade  Templar,  and 
Noffo  Dei,  a  wicked  Florentine,  both  condemned  to  death  and  con- 
cocting the  accusations  to  save  themselves,  are  probably  but  the 
conception  of  an  imaginative  chronicler,  handed  down  from  one 
annalist  to  another,  f  Such  special  interposition  was  wholly  un- 
necessary. The  foolish  secrecy  in  which  the  Templars  enveloped 
their  proceedings  was  a  natural  stimulus  of  popular  curiosity  and 
suspicion.  Alone  among  religious  Orders,  the  ceremonies  of  recep- 
tion were  conducted  in  the  strictest  privacy ;  chapters  were  held 
at  daybreak  with  doors  closely  guarded,  and  no  participant  was 
allowed  to  speak  of  what  was  done,  even  to  a  fellow-Templar  not 
concerned  in  the  chapter,  under  the  heaviest  penalty  known — that 
of  expulsion.  That  this  should  lead  to  gossip  and  stories  of  rites 
too  repulsive  and  hideous  to  bear  the  light  was  inevitable.  It  was 
the  one  damaging  fact  against  them,  and  when  Humbert  Blanc, 
Preceptor  of  Auvergne,  was  asked  on  his  trial  why  such  secrecy 
was  observed  if  they  had  nothing  to  conceal,  he  could  only  an- 
swer "  through  folly."  Thus  it  was  common  report  that  the  neo- 
phyte was  subjected  to  the  humiliation  of  kissing  the  posteriors 
of  his  preceptor — a  report  which  the  Hospitallers  took  special 
pleasure  in  circulating.  That  unnatural  lusts  should  be  attributed 
to  the  Order  is  easily  understood,  for  it  was  a  prevalent  vice  of  the 
Middle  Ages,  and  one  to  which  monastic  communities  were  espe- 


*  Guill.  Nangiac.  Contin.  ann.  1306. — Vaissette,  IV.  135.— Raynouard,  p.  24. 

t  Villani,  Cron.  vin.  92. — Amalr.  Augerii  Vit.  Clera.  V.  (Muratori  S.  R.  I.  III. 
II.  443-44).— S.  Antonini  Hist.  (D'Argentre  I.  i.  281).— Trithem.  Chron.  Hirsaug. 
ann.  1307.—  Raynald.  ann.  1307,  No.  12.  The  best-informed  contemporaries, 
Bernard  Gui,  the  Continuation  of  Nangis,  Jean  de  S.  Victor,  the  Grandes  Chro- 
niques,  say  nothing  about  this  story. 


256  POLITICAL   HERESY.— THE    STATE. 

cially  subject ;  as  recently  as  1292  a  horrible  scandal  of  this  kind 
had  led  to  the  banishment  of  many  professors  and  theologians  of 
the  University  of  Paris.  Darker  rumors  were  not  lacking  of  un- 
christian  practices  introduced  in  the  Order  by  a  Grand  Master 
taken  prisoner  by  the  Soldan  of  Babylon,  and  procuring  his  release 
under  promise  of  rendering  them  obligatory  on  the  members. 
There  was  also  a  legend  that  in  the  early  davs  of  the  Order  two 
Templars  were  riding  on  one  horse  in  a  battle  beyond  seas.  The 
one  in  front  recommended  himself  to  Christ  and  was  sorely 
wounded ;  the  one  behind  recommended  himself  to  him  who  best 
could  help,  and  he  escaped.  The  latter  was  said  to  be  the  demon 
in  human  shape  who  told  his  wounded  comrade  that  if  he  would 
believe  him  the  Order  would  grow  in  wealth  and  power.  The 
Templar  was  seduced,  and  thence  came  error  and  unbelief  into  the 
organization.  "We  have  seen  how  readily  such  stories  obtained 
credence  throughout  the  Middle  Ages,  how  they  grew  and  became 
embroidered  with  the  most  fantastic  details.  The  public  mind 
was  ripe  to  believe  anything  of  the  Templars ;  a  spark  only  was 
needed  to  produce  a  conflagration.* 


*  Regie  et  Statuts  secrets,  §81,  p.  314;  §124. p.  448— Wilkins  Concilia  II. 
338.— Proces  des  Templiers,  I.  186-7,  454  ;  II.  139,  153,  195-6,  223, 440,  445,  471. 
— S.  Damiani  Lib.  Gomorrhian. — Guillel.  Nangiac.  aim.  1120. — Alani  de  Insulis 
Lib.  de  Planctu  Naturae. — Gualt.  Mapes  de  Nugis  Curialium  i.  xxiv. — Prediche 
del  B.  Fra  Giordano  da  Rivalto,  Firenze,  1831,  L  230.— Regest.  Clement.  PP.  V.  T. 
V.  p.  259  (Ed.  Benedictin.  Romae,  1887).— Alvar.  Pelag.  de  Planet.  Eccles.  Lib.  u. 
Art.  ii.  fol.  lxxxiii. — Menioires  de  Jacques  Du  Clercq,  Liv.  in.  ch.  42;  Liv.  iv. 
ch.  3. — Rogeri  Bacon  Compend.  Studii  Philosophise  cap.  ii.  (M.  R.  Series  I.  412). 

Unnatural  crime  was  subject  to  ecclesiastical  jurisdiction  and  the  punishment 
was  burning  alive  (Tres  Ancien  Cout.  de  Bretagne,  Art.  112, 142  ap.  Bourdot  de 
Richebourg,  IV.  227,  232. — Statuta  Criminalia  Mediolani  e  tenebris  in  lucem 
edita,  cap.  51,  Bergomi,  1594).  An  instance  of  the  infliction  of  the  penalty  by 
secular  justice  is  recorded  at  Bourges  in  1445  (Jean  Chartier.  Hist,  de  Charles 
VII.  Ed.  Godefroy,  p.  72),  and  another  at  Zurich  in  1482  (V.  Anaheim,  Die  Berner 
Chronik,  Bern.  1884, 1.  221),  though  in  1451  Nicholas  V.  had  subjected  the  crime 
to  the  Inquisition  (Ripoll  III.  301).  D'Argentre"  says  "  Haec  poena  toto  regno  et 
vulgo  statutis  Italiae  indicitur  per  civitates,  sed  pene  irritis  legibus"  (Comment. 
Consuetud.  Due.  Britann.  p.  1810).  In  England  it  was  a  secular  crime,  punish- 
able by  burning  alive  (Home,  Myrroi  of  Justice,  cap.  iv.  §  14)  and  in  Spain  by 
castration  and  lapidation  (El  Fuero  real  de  Espana.  Lib.  rv.  Tit.  ix.  I.  2). 

The  gossiping  experiences  in  Syria  and  Italy  of  Antonio  Sicci  da  Vercelli,  as 


THE    TEMPLARS.  257 

Philippe's  ministers  and  agents — Guillaume  de  Nogaret,  Guil- 
laume  de  Plaisian,  Eenaud  de  Roye,  and  Enguerrand  de  Marigny 
— were  quite  fitted  to  appreciate  such  an  opportunity  to  relieve 
the  royal  exchequer,  nor  could  they  be  at  a  loss  in  finding  testi- 
mony upon  which  to  frame  a  formidable  list  of  charges,  for  we 
have  already  seen  how  readily  evidence  was  procured  from  ap- 
parently respectable  witnesses  convicting  Boniface  VIII.  of  crimes 
equally  atrocious.  In  the  present  case  the  task  was  easier:  the 
Templars  could  have  been  no  exception  to  the  general  demoraliza- 
tion of  the  monastic  Orders,  and  in  their  ranks  there  must  have 
been  many  desperate  adventurers,  ready  for  any  crime  that  would 
bring  a  profit.  Expelled  members  there  were  in  plenty  who  had 
been  ejected  for  their  misdeeds,  and  who  could  lose  nothing  by 
gratifying  their  resentments.  Apostates  also  were  there  who  had 
fled  from  the  Order  and  were  liable  to  imprisonment  if  caught, 
besides  the  crowd  of  worthless  ribalds  whom  the  royal  agents 
could  always  secure  when  evidence  for  any  purpose  was  wanted. 
These  were  quietly  collected  by  Guillaume  de  Nogaret,  and  kept 
in  the  greatest  secrecy  at  Corbeil  under  charge  of  the  Dominican, 
Humbert.  Heresy  was,  of  course,  the  most  available  charge  to 
bring.  The  Inquisition  was  there  as  an  unfailing  instrument  to 
secure  conviction.  Popular  rumor,  no  matter  by  whom  affirmed, 
was  sufficient  to  require  arrest  and  trial,  and  when  once  on  trial 
there  were  few  indeed  from  whom  the  inquisitorial  process  could 
not  wring  conviction.  When  once  the  attempt  was  determined 
upon  the  result  was  inevitable.* 

Still,  the  attempt  could  not  be  successful  without  the  concur- 
rence of  Clement  V.,  for  the  inquisitorial  courts,  both  of  the  Holy 
Office  and  of  the  bishops,  were  under  papal  control,  and,  besides, 
public  opinion  would  require  that  the  guilt  of  the  Order  should 


related  before  the  papal  commission  in  March,  1311,  show  the  popular  belief 
that  there  was  a  terrible  secret  in  the  Order  which  none  of  its  members  dared 
reveal  (Proces,  I.  644-5). 

It  is  perhaps  a  coincidence  that  in  1307  the  Teutonic  Order  was  likewise  ac- 
cused of  heresy  by  the  Archbishop  of  Riga.  Its  Grand  Master,  Carl  Beffart,  was 
summoned  by  Clement,  and  with  difficulty  averted  from  his  Order  the  fate  of  the 
Templars.— Wilcke,  II.  118. 

*  Proces  des  Templiers,  I.  36, 168.— Chron.  Anonyme  (Bouquet,  XXI.  137).— 
Joann.  de  S.Victor.  (Bouquet,  XXI.  649-50). 

III.— 17 


258  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE    STATE. 

be  proved  in  other  lands  besides  France.  To  enable  Philippe  to 
enjoy  the  expected  confiscations  in  his  own  dominions,  confis- 
cation must  be  general  throughout  Europe,  and  for  this  the  co- 
operation of  the  Holy  See  was  essential.  Clement  subsequently  de- 
clared that  Philippe  broached  the  subject  to  him  in  aD  its  details 
before  his  coronation  at  Lyons,  November  14, 1305,*  but  the  papal 
bulls  throughout  the  whole  matter  are  so  infected  with  mendacity 
that  slender  reliance  is  to  be  placed  on  their  statements.  Doubt 
less  there  was  some  discussion  about  the  current  reports  defaming 
the  Order,  but  Clement  is  probably  not  subject  to  the  imputation 
which  historians  have  thrown  upon  him,  that  his  summons  to  de 
Molay  and  de  Villaret  in  1306  was  purely  a  decoy.  It  seems  to 
me  reasonable  to  conclude  that  he  sent  for  them  in  good  faith, 
and  that  de  Molay's  own  imprudence  in  establishing  himself  in 
France,  as  though  for  a  permanence,  excited  at  once  the  suspicions 
-and  cupidity  of  the  king,  and  ripened  into  action  what  had  pre- 
viously  been  merely  a  vague  conception.f 

If  such  was  the  case,  Philippe  was  not  long  in  maturing  the 
project,  nor  were  his  agents  slow  in  gathering  material  for  the 
accusation.  In  his  interview  with  Clement  at  Poitiers,  in  the 
spring  of  1307,  he  vainly  demanded  the  condemnation  of  the 
memor}7  of  Boniface  VIII. ,  and,  failing  in  this,  he  brought  for- 
ward the  charges  against  the  Templars,  while  temporarily  drop- 
ping the  other  matter,  but  with  equal  lack  of  immediate  result. 
Clement  sent  for  de  Molay,  who  came  to  him  with  Eaimbaud  de 
Caron,  Preceptor  of  Cyprus,  Geoffroi  de  Gonneville,  Preceptor  of 
Aquitaine  and  Poitou,  and  Hugues  de  Peraud,  Visitor  of  France, 
the  principal  officers  of  the  Order  then  in  the  kingdom.  The 
charges  were  communicated  to  them  in  all  their  foulness.     Clem- 

*  Bull.  Pastor  alia  praeminentim  (Mag.  Bull.  Rom.  Supplem.  IX.  126). — Bull. 
Faciena  miaericordiam  (lb.  p.  136). — The  Itineraries  of  Philippe  and  the  record  of 
pastoral  visitations  by  Bertrand  de  Goth  (Clement  V.)  sufficiently  disprove  the 
legendary  story,  originating  with  Villani,  of  the  conditions  entered  into  in  advance 
at  St.  Jean  d'Angely  between  Philippe  and  Clement  (see  van  Os,  De  Abolitione 
Ordinis  Templariorum,  Herbipoli,  1874,  pp.  14—15).  None  the  less,  however,  was 
Clement  practically  subordinated  to  Philippe. 

t  Schottmuller's  theory  (Der  Untergang  des  Templer-Ordens,  I.  91)  that  Clem- 
ent summoned  the  chiefs  of  the  two  Military  Orders  to  arrange  with  them  for  the 
protection  of  the  Holy  See  against  Philippe  appears  to  me  destitute  of  all  prob- 
ability. 


THE    TEMPLARS.  259 

ent  subsequently  had  the  audacity  to  declare  to  all  Europe  that 
de  Molay  before  his  arrest  confessed  their  truth  in  the  presence 
of  his  subordinates  and  of  ecclesiastics  and  laymen,  but  this  is  a 
manifest  lie.  The  Templars  returned  to  Paris  evidently  relieved 
of  all  anxiety,  thinking  that  they  had  justified  themselves  com- 
pletely, and  de  Molay,  on  October  12,  the  eve  of  the  arrest,  had 
the  honor  to  be  one  of  the  four  pall-bearers  at  the  obsequies  of 
Catharine,  wife  of  Charles  de  Valois,  evidently  for  the  purpose  of 
lulling  him  with  a  sense  of  security.  Nay,  more,  on  August  24, 
Clement  had  written  to  Philippe  urging  him  to  make  peace  with 
England,  and  referring  to  his  charges  against  the  Templars  in  their 
conversations  at  Lyons  and  Poitiers,  and  the  representations  on 
the  subject  made  by  his  agents.  The  charges,  he  says,  appear  to 
him  incredible  and  impossible,  but  as  de  Molay  and  the  chief  of- 
ficers of  the  Order  had  complained  of  the  reports  as  injurious,  and 
had  repeatedly  asked  for  an  investigation,  offering  to  submit  to 
the  severest  punishment  if  found  guilty,  he  proposes  in  a  few  days, 
on  his  return  to  Poitiers,  to  commence,  with  the  advice  of  his  car- 
dinals, an  examination  into  the  matter,  for  which  he  asks  the  king 
to  send  him  the  proofs.* 

No  impression  had  evidently  thus  far  been  made  upon  Clement, 
and  he  wras  endeavoring,  in  so  far  as  he  dared,  to  shuffle  the  affair 
aside.  Philippe,  however,  had  under  his  hands  the  machinery 
requisite  to  attain  his  ends,  and  he  felt  assured  that  when  the 
Church  was  once  committed  to  it,  Clement  w^ould  not  venture  to 
withdraw.  The  Inquisitor  of  France,  Guillaume  de  Paris,  was  his 
confessor  as  well  as  papal  chaplain,  and  could  be  relied  upon.  It 
wras  his  official  duty  to  take  cognizance  of  all  accusations  of  heresy, 
and  to  summon  the  secular  powder  to  his  assistance,  wmile  his  aw- 
ful authority  overrode  all  the  special  immunities  and  personal  in- 
violability of  the  Order.  As  the  Templars  were  all  defamed  for 
heresy  by  credible  witnesses,  it  was  strictly  according  to  legal  form 
for  Frere  Guillaume  to  summon  Philippe  to  arrest  those  within 
his  territories  and  bring  them  before  the  Inquisition  for  trial.    As 


*  Villani  Chron.  vin.  91-2.— Raynald.  aim.  1311,  No.  26.— Ptol.  Lucens.  Hist. 
Eccles.  Lib.  xxiv.  (Muratori  S.  R.  I.  XI.  1228).— Contin.  Guill.  Naugiac.  arm.  1307. 
— Raynouard,  pp.  18,  19.— Van  Os  De  Abol.  Ord.  Templar,  p.  43.— Proces  des 
Templiers,  II.  400.— Mag.  Bull.  Rom.  IX.  131.— Proces,  I.  95.— Du  Puy,  Traitez 
concernant  1'Histoire  de  France,  Paris,  1700,  pp.  10, 117. 


260  POLITICAL   HERESY.— THE    STATE. 

the  enterprise  was  a  large  one,  secrecy  and  combined  operations 
were  requisite  for  its  success,  and  Philippe,  as  soon  as  Clement's 
letter  had  shown  him  that  he  was  not  to  expect  immediate  papal 
co-operation,  lost  no  time.  He  always  asserted  that  he  had  acted 
under  requisition  from  the  inquisitor,  and  excused  his  haste  by  de- 
claring that  his  victims  were  collecting  their  treasures  and  prepar- 
ing to  fly.  On  September  14  royal  letters  were  sent  out  to  the 
king's  representatives  throughout  France,  ordering  the  simultane- 
ous arrest,  under  authority  from  Frere  Guillaume.  of  all  members 
of  the  Order  on  October  13,  and  the  sequestration  of  all  property. 
Frere  Guillaume,  on  September  20,  addressed  all  inquisitors  and 
all  Dominican  priors,  sub-priors,  and  lectors,  commissioning  them 
to  act,  and  reciting  the  crimes  of  the  Templars,  which  he  charac- 
terized as  sufficient  to  move  the  earth  and  disturb  the  elements. 
He  had,  he  said,  examined  the  witnesses,  he  had  summoned  the 
king  to  lend  his  aid,  and  he  cunningly  added  that  the  pope  was 
informed  of  the  charges.  The  royal  instructions  were  that  the 
Templars  when  seized  were  to  be  strictly  guarded  in  solitary  con- 
finement ;  they  were  to  be  brought  before  the  inquisitorial  com- 
missioners one  by  one  ;  the  articles  of  accusation  were  to  be  read 
over  to  them ;  they  were  to  be  promised  pardon  if  they  would 
confess  the  truth  and  return  to  the  Church,  and  be  told  that  other- 
wise they  were  to  be  put  to  death,  while  torture  was  not  to  be 
spared  in  extracting  confession.  The  depositions  so  obtained  were 
to  be  sent  to  the  king  as  speedily  as  possible,  under  the  seals  of 
the  inquisitors.  AH  Templar  property  was  to  be  sequestrated  and 
careful  inventories  be  made  out.  In  undertaking  an  act  which 
would  shock  public  opinion  in  no  common  fashion,  it  was  neces- 
sary that  it  should  be  justified  at  once  by  the  confessions  wrung 
from  the  prisoners,  and  nothing  was  to  be  spared,  whether  by 
promises,  threats,  or  violence,  to  secure  the  result.* 


*  Du  Puy,  pp.  18-19,  86. — Stemler,  Contingent  zur  Geschichte  der  Templer, 
Leipzig,  1783,  pp.  36-50. — Pissot,  Proems  et  Condamnation  des  Templiers,  Palis, 
1805,  pp.  39-43. 

Clement  V.,  in  his  letters  of  November  21  to  Edward  of  England,  and  No- 
vember 22  to  Robert,  Duke  of  Calabria,  describes  Philippe  as  having  acted  under 
the  orders  of  the  Inquisition,  and  as  presenting  the  prisoners  for  judgment  to  the 
Church  (Rymer  III.  30 ;  MSS.  Chioccarello,  T.  VIII.).  The  Holy  Office  was  rec- 
ognized at  the  time  as  being  the  responsible  instrumentality  of  the  whole  affair 


THE    TEMPLARS.  261 

This  was  all  strictly  in  accordance  with  inquisitorial  practice, 
and  the  result  corresponded  with  the  royal  expectations.  Under 
the  able  management  of  Guillaume  de  Nogaret,  to  whom  the  di- 
rection of  the  affair  was  confided,  on  October  13  at  daybreak  the 
arrests  took  place  throughout  the  land,  but  few  of  the  Templars 
escaping.  Nogaret  himself  took  charge  of  the  Paris  Temple, 
where  about  a  hundred  and  forty  Templars,  with  de  Molay  and 
his  chief  officials  at  their  head,  were  seized,  and  the  vast  treasure 
of  the  Order  fell  into  the  king's  hands.  The  air  had  been  thick 
with  presages  of  the  impending  storm,  but  the  Templars  under- 
rated the  audacity  of  the  king  and  had  made  no  preparations  to 
avert  the  blow.  Now  they  were  powerless  in  the  hands  of  the 
unsparing  tribunal  which  could  at  will  prove  them  guilty  out  of 
their  own  mouths,  and  hold  them  up  to  the  scorn  and  detestation 
of  mankind.* 

Philippe's  first  care  was  to  secure  the  support  of  public  opinion 
and  allay  the  excitement  caused  by  this  unexpected  move.  The 
next  day,  Saturday,  October  14,  the  masters  of  the  university  and 
the  cathedral  canons  were  assembled  in  Notre  Dame,  where  Guil- 
laume de  Nogaret,  the  Prevot  of  Paris,  and  other  royal  officials 
made  a  statement  of  the  offences  which  had  been  proved  against 
the  Templars.  The  following  day,  Sunday  the  15th,  the  people 
were  invited  to  assemble  in  the  garden  of  the  royal  palace,  where 
the  matter  was  explained  to  them  by  the  Dominicans  and  the 
royal  spokesmen,  while  similar  measures  were  adopted  through- 
out the  kingdom.  On  Monday,  the  16th,  royal  letters  were  ad- 
dressed to  all  the  princes  of  Christendom  announcing  the  dis- 
covery of  the  Templar  heresy,  and  urging  them  to  aid  the  king 
in  the  defence  of  the  faith  by  following  his  example.     At  once 

(Chron.  Fran.  Pipini  c.  49  ap.  Muratori  S.  R.  I.  IX.  749-50).  The  bull  Faciens 
misericordiam,  of  August  12,  1308,  gives  the  inquisitors  throughout  Europe  in- 
structions to  participate  in  the  subsequent  proceedings  (Mag.  Bull.  Rom.  IX.  136). 

In  fact,  the  whole  matter  was  strictly  inquisitorial  business,  and  it  is  a  note- 
worthy fact  that  where  the  Inquisition  was  in  good  working  order,  as  in  France 
and  Italy,  there  was  no  difficulty  in  obtaining  the  requisite  evidence.  In  Castile 
and  Germany  it  failed ;  in  England,  as  we  shall  see,  nothing  could  be  done  until 
the  Inquisition  was  practically  established  temporarily  for  the  purpose. 

*  Dom  Bouquet,  XXI.  448.  — Vaissette,  IV.  139.  —  Chron.  Anon.  (Bouquet, 
XXI.  137,  149).— Cont.  Guill.  Nangiac.  ann.  1307.— Joann.  de  S.Victor.  (Bouquet, 
XXI.  649).— Proces  des  Templiers,  I.  458;  II.  373. 


262  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE   STATE. 

the  Inquisition  was  set  busily  at  work.  From  October  19  to  No- 
vember 24  Frere  Guillaume  and  his  assistants  were  employed  in 
recording  the  confessions  of  a  hundred  and  thirty-eight  prison- 
ers captured  in  the  Temple,  and  so  efficacious  were  the  means 
employed  that  but  three  refused  to  admit  at  least  some  of  the 
charges.  What  these  methods  were  the  records  of  course  fail  to 
show,  for,  as  we  have  seen,  the  official  confession  was  alwa}rs  made 
after  removal  from  the  torture -chamber,  and  the  victim  was  re- 
quired to  swear  that  it  was  free  and  unconstrained,  without  fear 
or  force,  though  he  knew  that  if  he  retracted  what  he  had  uttered 
or  promised  to  utter  on  the  rack  he  would  be  liable  to  fresh  tort- 
ure, or  to  the  stake  as  a  relapsed  heretic.  The  same  scenes  were 
enacting  all  over  France,  where  the  commissioners  of  Frere  Guil- 
laume, and  sometimes  Frere  Guillaume  himself,  with  the  assistance 
of  the  royal  officials,  were  engaged  in  the  same  work.  In  fact, 
the  complaisant  Guillaume,  in  default  of  proper  material  for  labor 
so  extensive,  seems  occasionally  to  have  commissioned  the  royal 
deputies  to  act.  A  few  of  the  reports  of  these  examinations  have 
been  preserved,  from  Champagne,  Xormandy,  Querci,  Bigorre, 
Beaucaire,  and  Languedoc,  and  in  these  the  occasional  allusions 
to  torture  show  that  it  was  employed  whenever  necessary.  In  all 
cases,  of  course,  it  was  not  required,  for  the  promise  of  pardon  and 
the  threat  of  burning  would  frequently  suffice,  in  conjunction  with 
starvation  and  the  harshness  of  the  prison.  The  rigor  of  the  ap- 
plication of  the  inquisitorial  process  is  shown  by  the  numerous 
deaths  and  the  occasional  suicides  prompted  by  despair  to  which 
the  records  bear  testimony.  In  Paris  alone,  according  to  the  tes- 
timony of  Ponsard  de  Gisiac,  thirty-six  Templars  perished  under 
torture ;  at  Sens,  Jacques  de  Saciac  said  that  twenty-five  had  died 
of  torment  and  suffering,  and  the  mortality  elsewhere  was  noto- 
rious. When  a  number  of  the  Templars  subsequently  repeated 
their  confessions  before  the  pope  and  cardinals  in  consistory,  they 
dwelt  upon  the  excessive  tortures  which  they  had  endured,  al- 
though Clement  in  reporting  the  result  was  careful  to  specify  that 
their  confessions  were  free  and  unconstrained.  De  Molay,  of 
coarse,  was  not  spared.  He  was  speedily  brought  into  a  comply- 
ing state  of  mind.  Although  his  confession,  October  24,  is  exceed- 
ingly brief,  and  only  admits  a  portion  of  the  errors  charged,  yet 
he  was  induced  to  sign  a  letter  addressed  to  the  brethren  stating 


THE    TEMPLARS. 


263 


that  he  had  confessed  and  recommending  them  to  do  the  same,  as 
having  been  deceived  by  ancient  error.  As  soon  as  he  and  other 
chiefs  of  the  Order  were  thus  committed,  the  masters  and  students 
of  all  the  faculties  of  the  university  were  summoned  to  meet  in 
the  Temple ;  the  wretched  victims  were  brought  before  them  and 
were  required  to  repeat  their  confessions,  which  they  did,  with 
the  addition  that  these  errors  had  prevailed  in  the  Order  for  thir- 
ty years  and  more.* 

The  errors  charged  against  them  were  virtually  five :  I.  That 
when  a  neophyte  was  received  the  preceptor  led  him  behind  the 
altar,  or  to  the  sacristy  or  other  secret  place,  showed  him  a  crucifix 
and  made  him  thrice  renounce  the  prophet  and  spit  upon  the  cross. 
II.  He  was  then  stripped,  and  the  preceptor  kissed  him  thrice,  on 
the  posteriors,  the  navel,  and  the  mouth.  III.  He  was  then  told 
that  unnatural  lust  was  lawful,  and  it  was  commonly  indulged  in 
throughout  the  Order.  IV.  The  cord  which  the  Templars  wore 
over  the  shirt  day  and  night  as  a  symbol  of  chastity  had  been 
consecrated  by  wrapping  it  around  an  idol  in  the  form  of  a  human 
head  with  a  great  beard,  and  this  head  was  adored  in  the  chapters, 
though  only  known  to  the  Grand  Master  and  the  elders.  Y.  The 
priests  of  the  Order  do  not  consecrate  the  host  in  celebrating 
mass.  When,  in  August,  1308,  Clement  sent  throughout  Europe  a 
series  of  articles  for  the  interrogation  of  the  accused,  drawn  up  for 
him  by  Philippe,  and  varying  according  to  different  recensions 
from  eighty-seven  to  one  hundred  and  twenty-seven  in  number, 
these  charges  were  elaborated,  and  varied  on  the  basis  of  the  im- 
mense mass  of  confessions  which  had  meanwhile  been  obtained. 
The  indecent  kisses  were  represented  as  mutual  between  the  re- 
ceptor and  the  received ;  disbelief  in  the  sacrament  of  the  altar 
was  asserted  ;  a  cat  was  said  to  appear  in  the  chapters  and  to  be 
worshipped ;  the  Grand  Master  or  preceptor  presiding  in  a  chap- 
ter was  held  to  have  power  of  absolving  from  all  sin ;  all  brethren 


*  Joann.  de  S.Victor  (Bouquet,  XXL  649-50).— Contin.  Guill.  Nangiac.  ann. 
1307.  — Chron.  Anon.  (Bouquet,  XXL  137).  —  Schottmuller,  op.  cit.  I.  131-33  — 
Zurita,  Anales  de  Aragon,  Lib.  v.  c.  73.— Proces  des  Templiers,  II.  6,  375,  386,  394. 
— Du  Puy,  pp.  25-6,  88-91,  101-6.— Rayuouard,  pp.  39-40,  164,  235-8,  240-5.— 
Proces  des  Templiers,  I.  36,  69,  203,  301 ;  II.  305-6.— Ptol.  Lucens.  Hist.  Eccles. 
Lib.  xxrv.  (Muratori  S.  R.  I.  XL  1230).— Trithem.  Chron.  Hirsaug.  ann.  1307.— 
Chron.  Anon.  (Bouquet,  XXL  149). 


264  POLITICAL    HERESY.  — THE    STATE. 

were  instructed  to  acquire  property  for  the  Order  by  fair  means 
or  foul,  and  all  the  above  were  declared  to  be  fixed  and  absolute 
rules  of  the  Order,  dating  from  a  time  beyond  the  memory  of  any 
member.  Besides  these,  it  was  reproached  for  the  secrecy  of  its 
proceedings  and  neglect  in  the  distribution  of  alms.  Even  this, 
however,  did  not  satisfy  the  public  imagination,  and  the  most 
absurd  exaggerations  found  credence,  such  as  we  have  so  frequently 
seen  in  the  case  of  other  heresies.  The  Templars  were  said  to  have 
admitted  betraying  St.  Louis  and  the  stronghold  of  Acre,  and  that 
they  had  such  arrangements  with  the  Soldan  of  Babylon  that  if  a 
new  crusade  were  undertaken  the  Christians  would  all  be  sold  to 
him.  They  had  conveyed  away  a  portion  of  the  royal  treasure, 
to  the  great  injury  of  the  kingdom.  The  cord  of  chastity  was 
magnified  into  a  leather  belt,  worn  next  the  skin,  and  the  mahom- 
merie  of  this  girdle  was  so  powerful  that  as  long  as  it  was  worn 
no  Templar  could  abandon  his  errors.  Sometimes  a  Templar  who 
died  in  this  false  belief  was  burned,  and  of  his  ashes  a  powder  was 
made  which  confirmed  the  neophytes  in  their  infidelity.  AVhen 
a  child  was  born  of  a  virgin  to  a  Templar  it  was  roasted,  and  of 
its  fat  an  ointment  was  made  wherewith  to  anoint  the  idol  wor- 
shipped in  the  chapters,  to  which,  according  to  other  rumors, 
human  sacrifices  were  offered.  Such  were  the  stories  which  passed 
from  mouth  to  mouth  and  served  to  intensify  popular  abhorrence.* 
It  is,  perhaps,  necessary  at  this  point  to  discuss  the  still  mooted 
question  as  to  the  guilt  or  innocence  of  the  Order.  Disputants 
have  from  various  motives  been  led  to  find  among  the  Templars 
Manichsean,  Gnostic,  and  Cabalistic  errors  justifying  their  destruc- 
tion. Hammer-Purgstall  boasted  that  he  had  discovered  and 
identified  no  less  than  thirty  Templar  images,  in  spite  of  the  fact 
that  at  the  time  of  their  sudden  arrest  the  Inquisition,  aided  by  the 
eager  creatures  of  Philippe,  was  unable  to  lay  its  hands  on  a  single 
one.  The  only  thing  approaching  it  was  a  metal  reliquary  in 
the  form  of  a  female  head  produced  from  the  Paris  Temple,  wmich, 
on  being  opened,  was  found  to  contain  a  small  skull  preserved  as  a 
relic  of  the  eleven  thousand  virgins.  + 

*  Pissot,  pp.  41-2. — Procks  des  Templiers,  I.  89  sqq. — Mag.  Bull.  Roman.  IX. 
129  sqq. — Raynouard,  p.  50. — Grandes  Chroniques  V.  188-90. — Chron.  Auon. 
(Bouquet,  XXI.  137).— Naucleri  Chron.  ann.  1306. 

t  Wilcke,  II.  424.—  Proces  des  Templiers,  II.  218. — The  flimsiness  of  the  evi- 


THE    TEMPLARS.  265 

This  fact  alone  would  serve  to  dispose  of  the  gravest  of  the 
charges,  for,  if  the  depositions  of  some  of  the  accused  are  to  be  be- 
lieved, these  idols  were  kept  in  every  commandery  and  were  em- 
ployed in  every  reception  of  a  neophyte.  With  regard  to  the 
other  accusations,  not  admitting  thus  of  physical  proof,  it  is  to  be 
observed  that  much  has  been  made  by  modern  theorists  of  the 


dence  which  suffices  to  satisfy  archaeologists  of  this  kind  is  seen  in  the  labor- 
ious trifling  of  M.  Mignard,  who  finds  in  a  sculptured  stone  coffer,  discovered  at 
Essarois  in  1789,  all  the  secrets  of  gnostic  Manichaeism,  and  who  thereupon  leaps 
to  the  conclusion  that  the  coffer  must  have  belonged  to  the  Templars  who  had 
a  preceptory  within  eight  or  ten  miles  of  the  place,  and  that  it  served  as  a  re- 
ceptacle for  the  Baphometic  idol  (Mignard,  Monographic  du  coffret  de  M.  le 
due  de  Blacas,  Paris,  1852.— Suite,  1853). 

It  is  impossible  to  listen  without  respect  to  Professor  Hans  Prutz,  whose 
labors  in  the  archives  of  Valetta  I  have  freely  quoted  above,  and  one  can  only 
view  with  regret  the  efforts  of  such  a  man  wasted  in  piecing  together  contra- 
dictory statements  of  tortured  witnesses  to  evolve  out  of  them  a  dualistic  heresy 
— an  amalgamation  of  Catharan  elements  with  Luciferan  beliefs,  to  which  even 
the  unlucky  Stedingers  contribute  corroboration  (Geheimlehre  u.  Geheimsta- 
tuten  des  Tempelherren-Ordens,  Berlin,  1879,  pp.  62,  86, 100).  It  ought  to  be 
sufficient  to  prevent  such  wasted  labor  for  the  future,  to  call  attention  to  the  fact 
that  if  there  had  been  ardor  and  conviction  enough  in  the  Order  to  risk  the 
organization  and  propagation  of  a  new  heresy,  there  would,  unquestionably,  have 
been  at  least  a  few  martyrs,  such  as  all  other  heretical  sects  furnished.  Yet  not 
a  single  Templar  avowed  the  faith  attributed  to  them  and  persisted  in  it.  All 
who  confessed  under  the  stress  of  the  prosecution  eagerly  abjured  the  errors 
attributed  to  them  and  asked  for  absolution.  A  single  case  of  obstinacy  would 
have  been  worth  to  Philippe  and  Clement  all  the  other  testimony,  and  would 
have  been  made  the  pivotal  point  of  the  trials,  but  there  was  not  one  such.  All 
the  Templars  who  were  burned  were  martyrs  of  another  sort — men  who  had  con- 
fessed under  torture,  had  retracted  their  confessions,  and  who  preferred  the  stake 
to  the  disgrace  of  persisting  in  the  admission  extorted  from  them.  It  does  not 
seem  to  occur  to  the  ingenious  framers  of  heretical  beliefs  for  the  Templars  that 
they  must  construct  a  heresy  whose  believers  will  not  suffer  death  in  its  defence, 
but  will  endure  to  be  burned  in  scores  rather  than  submit  to  the  stigma  of  hav- 
ing it  ascribed  to  them.  The  mere  statement  of  the  case  is  enough  to  show  the 
fabulous  character  of  all  the  theories  so  laboriously  constructed,  especially  that  of 
M.  Mignard,  who  proves  that  the  Templars  were  Cathari— heretics  wl?ose  aspira- 
tion for  martyrdom  was  peculiarly  notorious. 

I  have  not  been  able  to  consult  Loiseleur's  "  La  Doctrine  Secrete  des  Tem- 
pliers"  (Orleans,  1872),  but  from  Prutz's  references  to  it  I  gather  that  it  is 
grounded  on  the  same  false  basis  and  is  open  to  the  same  easy  refutation. 
Wilcke's  speculations  are  too  perversely  crude  to  be  worth  attention. 


266  POLITICAL    HERESY.  — THE    STATE. 

fact  that  the  rules  and  statutes  of  the  Order  were  reserved  exclu- 
sively for  its  chiefs,  and  it  has  been  assumed  that  in  them  were 
developed  the  secret  mysteries  of  the  heresy.  Yet  nothing  of  the 
kind  was  alleged  in  the  proceedings ;  the  statutes  were  never 
offered  in  evidence  by  the  prosecution,  although  many  of  them 
must  have  been  obtained  in  the  sudden  seizure,  and  this  for  the 
best  of  reasons.  Sedulously  as  they  were  destroyed,  two  or  three 
copies  escaped,  and  these,  carefully  collated,  have  been  printed. 
They  breathe  nothing  but  the  most  ascetic  piety  and  devotion  to 
the  Church,  and  the  numerous  illustrative  cases  cited  in  them  show 
that  up  to  a  period  not  long  anterior  to  the  destruction  of  the 
Order  there  were  constant  efforts  made  to  enforce  the  rigid  Eule 
framed  by  St.  Bernard  and  promulgated  by  the  Council  of  Troves 
in  1128.  Thus  there  is  absolutely  no  external  evidence  against  the 
Order,  and  the  proof  rests  entirely  upon  confessions  extracted  by 
the  alternative  of  pardon  or  burning,  by  torture,  by  the  threat  of 
torture,  or  by  the  indirect  torture  of  prison  and  starvation,  which 
the  Inquisition,  both  papal  and  episcopal,  know  so  well  how  to 
employ.  We  shall  see,  in  the  development  of  the  affair,  that  when 
these  agencies  were  not  employed  no  admissions  of  criminality 
could  be  obtained.*     ]So  one  who  had  studied  the  criminal  juris- 


*  Writers  unfamiliar  with  the  judicial  processes  of  the  period  are  misled  by 
the  customary  formula,  to  the  effect  that  the  confirmation  of  a  confession  is  not 
obtained  by  force  or  fear  of  torture.  See  Raynald.  ann.  1307,  No.  12,  and  Bini, 
Dei  Tempieri  in  Toscana,  p.  428.  Wilcke  asserts  positively  (op.  cit.  II.  318) 
that  de  Molay  never  was  tortured,  which  may  possibly  be  true  (Amalr.  Auger. 
Vit.  Clem.  V.  ap.  Muratori  III.  ii.  461),  but  he  saw  his  comrades  around  him  sub- 
jected to  torture,  and  it  was  a  mere  question  of  strength  of  nerve  whether  he 
yielded  before  or  after  the  rack.  Prutz  even  says  that  in  England  neither  tort- 
ure nor  terrorism  was  employed  (Geheimlehre,  p.  104),  which  we  will  see  below 
was  not  the  case.  Van  Os  (De  Abol.  Ord.  Tempi,  pp.  107,  109)  is  bolder,  and 
argues  that  a  confession  confirmed  after  torture  is  as  convincing  as  if  no  torture 
had  been  used.  He  carefully  suppresses  the  fact,  however,  that  retraction  was 
held  to  be  relapse  and  entailed  death  by  burning. 

How  the  system  worked  is  illustrated  by  the  examination  of  the  Preceptor  of 
Cyprus,  Raimbaud  de  Caron,  before  the  inquisitor  Guillaume,  Nov.  10,  1307. 
When  first  interrogated  he  would  only  admit  that  he  had  been  told  in  the 
presence  of  his  uncle,  the  Bishop  of  Carpentras,  that  he  would  have  to  renounce 
Christ  to  obtain  admission.  He  was  then  removed  and  subsequently  brought 
back,  when  he  remembered  that  at  his  reception  he  had  been  forced  to  renounce 


THE    TEMPLARS.  267 

prudence  of  the  later  Middle  Ages  will  attach  the  slightest  weight 
to  confessions  obtained  under  such  conditions.  We  have  seen,  in 
the  case  of  the  Stedingers,  how  easy  it  was  to  create  belief  in  the 
most  groundless  charges.  We  have  seen,  under  Conrad  of  Mar- 
burg, how  readily  the  fear  of  death  and  the  promise  of  absolution 
would  cause  nobles  of  birth  and  station  to  convict  themselves  of 
the  foulest  and  most  impossible  offences.  We  shall  see,  when  we 
come  to  consider  persecution  for  witchcraft,  with  what  facility  the 
rack  and  strappado  procured  from  victims  of  all  ranks  confessions 
of  participating  in  the  Sabbat,  and  of  holding  personal  intercourse 
with  demons,  of  charming  away  harvests,  of  conjuring  hail-storms, 
and  of  killing  men  and  cattle  with  spells.  Riding  through  the 
air  on  a  broomstick,  and  commerce  with  incubi  and  succubi  rest 
upon  evidence  of  precisely  the  same  character  and  of  much  greater 
weight  than  that  upon  wrhich  the  Templars  were  convicted,  for 
the  witch  was  sure  of  burning  if  she  confessed,  and  had  a  chance 
of  escaping  if  she  could  endure  the  torture,  while  the  Templar  was 
threatened  with  death  for  obstinacy,  and  was  promised  immunity 
as  a  reward  for  confession.  If  we  accept  the  evidence  against  the 
Templar  we  cannot  reject  it  in  the  case  of  the  witch. 

As  the  testimony  thus  has  no  intrinsic  weight,  the  only  scien- 
tific method  of  analyzing  the  affair  is  to  sift  the  whole  mass  of 
confessions,  and  determine  their  credibility  according  to  the  in- 
ternal evidence  wrhich  they  afford  of  being  credible  or  otherwise. 
Several  hundred  depositions  have  reached  us,  taken  in  France, 
England,  and  Italy,  for  the  most  part  naturally  those  incriminat- 
ing the  Order,  for  the  assertions  of  innocence  were  usually  sup- 
pressed, and  the  most  damaging  witnesses  were  made  the  most  of. 
These  are  sufficiently  numerous  to  afford  us  ample  material  for 
estimating  the  character  of  the  proof  on  which  the  Order  was 
condemned,  and  to  obtain  from  them  a  reasonable  approximation 
to  the  truth  requires  only  the  application  of  a  few  tests  suggested 
by  common-sense. 

There  is,  firstly,  the  extreme  inherent  improbability  that  a  rich, 


Christ  and  spit  on  the  cross,  and  had  been  taught  that  the  gratification  of  un- 
natural lust  was  permissible.  Yet  this  confession,  so  evidently  the  result  of  tort- 
ure, winds  up  with  the  customary  formula  that  he  swore  it  was  not  the  result  of 
force  or  fear  of  prison  or  torture. — Proces,  II.  374-5. 


268  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE    STATE. 

worldly,  and  ambitious  body  of  men  like  the  Templars  should  be 
secretly  engaged  in  the  dangerous  and  visionary  task  of  laying  the 
foundations  of  a  new  religion,  which  would  bring  them  no  advan- 
tage if  they  succeeded  in  supplanting  Christianity,  and  which  was 
certain  to  lead  them  to  destruction  in  the  infinite  chances  of  detec- 
tion. To  admit  this  is  to  ascribe  to  them  a  spiritual  exaltation 
and  a  readiness  for  martyrdom  which  we  might  expect  from  the 
asceticism  of  a  Catharan  or  a  Dolcinist,  but  not  from  the  worldli- 
ness  which  was  the  real  corroding  vice  of  the  Order.  Secondly, 
if  the  Templars  were  thus  engaged  in  the  desperate  enterprise  of 
propagating  a  new  faith  under  the  eyes  of  the  Inquisition,  they 
would  be  wary  in  initiating  strangers ;  they  would  exercise  ex- 
treme caution  as  to  the  admission  of  members,  and  only  reyeal  to 
them  their  secrets  by  degrees,  as  they  found  them  worthy  of  con- 
fidence and  zealously  willing  to  incur  the  risk  of  martyrdom. 
Thirdly,  if  a  new  dogma  were  thus  secretly  taught  as  an  indispen- 
sable portion  of  the  Kule,  its  doctrines  would  be  rigidly  defined 
and  its  ritual  be  closely  administered.  The  witnesses  who  con- 
fessed to  initiation  would  all  tell  the  same  story  and  give  the  same 
details. 

Thus  evidence  of  the  weightiest  and  most  coherent  character 
would  be  requisite  to  overcome  the  inherent  improbability  that 
the  Templars  could  be  embarked  in  an  enterprise  so  insane,  in 
place  of  which  we  have  only  confessions  extracted  by  the  threat 
or  application  of  torture,  and  not  a  single  instance  of  a  persistent 
heretic  maintaining  the  belief  imputed  to  him.  Turning  to  the 
testimony  to  see  whether  it  comports  Avith  the  conditions  which 
we  have  named,  we  find  that  no  discrimination  whatever  was 
exercised  in  the  admission  of  neophytes.  Xot  a  single  witness 
speaks  of  any  preliminary  preparation,  though  several  intimate 
that  they  obtained  entrance  by  making  over  their  property  to  the 
Order.*  Indeed,  one  of  the  charges  was,  that  there  was  no  pre- 
liminary probation,  and  that  the  neophyte  at  once  became  a  pro- 
fessed member  in  full  standing,  which,  as  explained  by  a  knight  of 
Mas  Deu,  was  because  their  services  were  considered  to  be  at  once 
required  against  the  Saracens.f  Youths  and  even  children  of 
tender  years  were  admitted,  although  in  violation  of  the  statutes 


*  Procfcs,  II.  188,  407.  t  Ibid.  II.  451. 


THE   TEMPLARS.  209 

of  the  Order,  of  ages  ranging  from  ten  or  eleven  years  upward.* 
High-born  knights,  priding  themselves  on  their  honor,  priests,  la- 
borers, husbandmen,  menials  of  all  kinds  were  brought  in,  and,  if 
we  are  to  believe  their  evidence,  they  were  without  notice  obliged, 
by  threats  of  death  and  lifelong  imprisonment,  to  undergo  the 
severest  personal  humiliation,  and  to  perform  the  awful  task  of 
renouncing  their  Saviour  and  spitting  on,  or  even  more  outra- 
geously defiling,  the  cross  which  was  the  object  of  their  veneration 
and  the  symbol  of  their  faith.  Such  a  method  of  propagating 
heresy  by  force  in  the  Europe  of  the  Inquisition,  of  trusting  such 
fearful  secrets  to  children  and  to  unwilling  men  of  all  conditions, 
is  so  absurd  that  its  mere  assertion  deprives  the  testimony  of  all 
claim  to  credence. 

Equally  damaging  to  the  credibility  of  the  evidence  is  the  self- 
contradictory  character  of  its  details.  It  was  obtained  by  examin- 
ing the  accused  on  a  series  of  charges  elaborately  drawn  up,  and 
by  requiring  answers  to  each  article  in  succession,  so  that  the  gen- 
eral features  of  the  so-called  confessions  were  suggested  in  advance. 
Had  the  charges  been  true  there  could  have  been  little  variation 
in  the  answers,  but  in  place  of  a  definite  faith  or  a  systematic 
ritual  we  find  every  possible  variation  that  could  suggest  itself  to 
witnesses  striving  to  invent  stories  that  should  satisfy  their  tort- 
urers. Some  say  that  they  were  taught  Deism — that  God  in 
heaven  alone  was  to  be  worshipped.f  Others,  that  they  were 
forced  to  renounce  God.:};  The  usual  formula  reported,  however, 
was  simply  to  renounce  Christ,  or  Jesus,  while  others  were  called 
upon  to  renounce  Notre  Sire,  or  la  Profeta,  or  Christ,  the  Virgin, 
and  the  Saints.§  Some  professed  that  they  could  not  recollect 
whether  their  renunciation  had  been  of  God  or  of  Christ.  II     Some- 


*  Proces,  I.  241,  412,  415,  602,  611 ;  II.  7,  295,  298,  354,  359,  382,  394.— Regie, 
§7,  p.  211. 

t  Proces,  I.  213,  332  ;  II.  388,404.— Raynouard,  p.  281.— In  this  and  the  fol- 
lowing notes  I  can  only  give  a  few  references  as  examples.  To  do  so  exhaust- 
ively would  be  to  make  an  analytical  index  of  the  whole  voluminous  mass  of 
testimony. 

I  Proces,  I.  206,  242,  302,  378,  386,  etc. ;  II.  5,  27,  etc. 

§  Proces,  I.  254,  417 ;  II.  24,  62,  72, 104.— Bini,  Dei  Tempieri  in  Toscana,  pp. 
463,  470,  478. 

U  Proces,  II.  42, 44,  59. 


270  POLITICAL  HERESY.  — THE   STATE. 

times  we  hear  that  instruction  was  given  that  they  should  not 
believe  in  Christ,  that  he  was  a  false  prophet,  that  he  suffered  for 
his  own  sins,  but  more  frequently  that  the  only  reason  alleged  was 
that  such  was  the  Rule  of  the  Order. *  It  was  the  same  with  the 
idol  which  has  so  greatly  exercised  the  imagination  of  commen- 
tators. Some  witnesses  swore  that  it  was  produced  whenever  a 
neophyte  was  received,  and  that  its  adoration  was  a  part  of  the 
ceremony  ;  others  that  it  was  only  exhibited  and  worshipped  in 
the  secrecy  of  chapters ;  by  far  the  greater  number,  however,  had 
never  seen  it  or  heard  of  it.  Of  those  who  professed  to  have  seen 
it,  scarce  two  described  it  alike,  within  the  limits  suggested  by  the 
articles  of  accusation,  which  spoke  of  it  as  a  head.  Sometimes  it 
is  black,  sometimes  white,  sometimes  with  black  hair,  and  some- 
times white  and  black  mixed,  and  again  with  a  long  white  beard. 
Some  witnesses  saw  its  neck  and  shoulders  covered  with  gold ;  one 
declared  that  it  was  a  demon  {Maufe)  on  which  no  one  could  look 
without  trembling ;  another  that  it  had  for  eyes  carbuncles  which 
lighted  up  the  room ;  another  that  it  had  two  faces ;  another  three 
faces  ;  another  four  legs,  two  behind  and  two  before,  and  yet  an- 
other said  it  was  a  statue  with  three  heads.  On  one  occasion  it  is 
a  picture,  on  another  a  painting  on  a  plaque,  on  another  a  small  fe- 
male figure  which  the  preceptor  draws  from  under  his  garments, 
and  on  another  the  statue  of  a  boy,  a  cubit  in  height,  sedulously 
concealed  in  the  treasury  of  the  preceptory.  According  to  the  tes- 
timony of  one  witness  it  degenerated  into  a  calf.  Sometimes  it  is 
called  the  Saviour,  and  sometimes  Bafomet  or  Maguineth — corrup- 
tions of  Mahomet — and  is  worshipped  as  Allah.  Sometimes  it  is 
God,  creating  all  things,  causing  the  trees  to  bloom  and  the  grass  to 
germinate,  and  then  again  it  is  a  friend  of  God  who  can  approach 
him  and  intercede  for  the  suppliant.  Sometimes  it  gives  responses, 
and  sometimes  it  is  accompanied  or  replaced  by  the  devil  in  the 
form  of  a  black  or  gray  cat  or  raven,  who  occasionally  answers  the 
questions  addressed  to  him,  the  performance  winding  up,  like  the 
witches'  Sabbat,  with  the  introduction  of  demons  in  the  form  of 
beautiful  women,  f 


*  Procfcs,  I.  206-7,  294,  411,  426,  464,  533  ;  II.  31, 128,  242,  366. 
t  Proems,  L  190,  207,  399,  502,  597;  II.  193,  203,  212,  279.  300,  313,  315,  363, 
384.— Du  Puy,  pp.   105-6.— Raynouard,  pp.  246-8,  279-83,  293.— Bini,  pp.  465, 


THE    TEMPLARS.  271 

Similar  contradictions  are  observable  in  the  evidence  as  to  the 
ritual  of  reception.  The  details  laid  down  in  the  Eule  are  accu- 
rately and  uniformly  described,  but  when  the  witnesses  come  to 


474,  482,  487,  488.— Wilkins,  Concilia,  II.  358.— Schottmiiller,  op.  cit.  II.  29,  50, 
68,  70, 127,  410,  411.— Vaissette,  IV.  141.— Stemler,  pp.  124-5. 

It  is  in  this  multiform  creature  of  the  imagination  that  Dr.  Wilcke  (II.  131-2) 
sees  alternately  an  image  of  John  the  Baptist  and  the  triune  Makroposopus  of  the 
Cabala. 

Among  the  few  outside  witnesses  who  appeared  before  the  papal  commission 
in  1310-11,  was  Antonio  Sicci  of  Vercelli,  imperial  and  apostolic  notary,  who 
forty  years  before  had  served  the  Templars  in  Syria  in  that  capacity,  and  had 
recently  been  employed  in  the  case  by  the  Inquisition  of  Paris.  Among  his 
Eastern  experiences  he  gravely  related  a  story  current  in  Sidon  that  a  lord  of 
that  city  once  loved  desperately  but  fruitlessly  a  noble  maiden  of  Armenia;  she 
died,  and,  like  Periander  of  Corinth,  on  the  night  of  her  burial  he  opened  her 
tomb  and  gratified  his  passion.  A  mysterious  voice  said,  "  Return  in  nine  months 
and  you  will  find  a  head,  your  son  1"  In  due  time  he  came  back  and  found 
a  human  head  in  the  tomb,  when  the  voice  said,  "  Guard  this  head,  for  all  your 
good-fortune  will  come  from  it !"  At  the  time  the  witness  heard  this,  Matthieu 
le  Sauvage  of  Picardy  was  Preceptor  of  Sidon,  who  had  established  brotherhood 
with  the  Soldan  of  Babylon  by  each  drinking  the  other's  blood.  Then  a  certain 
Julian,  who  had  succeeded  to  Sidon  and  to  the  possession  of  the  head,  entered 
the  Order  and  gave  to  it  the  town  and  all  his  wealth.  He  was  subsequently 
expelled  and  entered  the  Hospitallers,  whom  he  finally  abandoned  for  the  Pre- 
monstratensians  (Proces,  I.  645-6).  This  somewhat  irrelevant  and  disconnected 
story  so  impressed  the  commissioners  that  they  made  Antonio  reduce  it  to  writ- 
ing himself,  and  lost  no  subsequent  opportunity  of  inquiring  about  the  head 
of  Sidon  from  all  other  witnesses  who  had  been  in  Syria.  Shortly  afterwards 
Jean  Senandi,  who  had  lived  in  Sidon  for  five  years,  informed  them  that  the 
Templars  purchased  the  city,  and  that  Julian,  who  had  been  one  of  its  lords, 
entered  the  Order  but  apostatized  and  died  in  poverty.  One  of  his  ancestors 
was  said  to  have  loved  a  maiden  and  abused  her  corpse,  but  he  had  heard  noth- 
ing of  the  head  (lb.  II.  140).  Pierre  de  Nobiliac  had  been  for  many  years  be- 
yond seas,  but  had  likewise  never  heard  of  it  (lb.  215).  At  length  their  curiosity 
was  gratified  by  Hugues  de  Faure,  who  confirmed  the  fact  that  Sidon  had  been 
purchased  by  the  Grand  Master,  Thomas  Berard  (1257-1273),  and  added  that 
after  the  fall  of  Acre  he  had  heard  in  Cyprus  that  the  heiress  of  Maraclea,  in  Trip- 
oli, had  been  loved  by  a  noble  who  had  exhumed  her  body  and  violated  it,  and 
cut  off  her  head,  a  voice  telling  him  to  guard  it  well,  for  it  would  destroy  all  who 
looked  upon  it.  He  wrapped  it  up  and  kept  it  in  a  coffer,  and  in  Cyprus,  when 
he  wished  to  destroy  a  town  or  the  Greeks,  he  would  uncover  it  and  accomplish 
his  purpose.  Desiring  to  destroy  Constantinople  he  sailed  thither  with  it,  but 
his  old  nurse,  curious  to  know  what  was  in  the  coffer  so  carefully  preserved, 


272  POLITICAL  HERESY.— THE   STATE. 

speak  of  the  sacrilegious  rites  imputed  to  them,  they  flounder  among 
almost  every  variation  that  could  suggest  itself  to  their  imagina- 
tions. Usually  renunciation  of  God  or  Christ  and  spitting  on  the 
cross  are  both  required,  but  in  many  cases  renunciation  without 
spitting  suffices,  and  in  as  many  more  spitting  without  renuncia- 
tion.* Occasionally  spitting  is  not  sufficient,  but  trampling  is  added, 
and  even  urination ;  indeed  some  over-zealous  witnesses  declared 
that  the  Templars  assembled  yearly  to  perform  the  latter  cere- 
mony, while  others,  while  admitting  the  sacrilege  of  their  reception 
rites,  say  that  the  yearly  adoration  of  the  cross  on  Good  Friday, 
prescribed  in  the  Rule,  was  also  observed  with  great  devotion.f 
Generally  a  plain  cross  is  described  as  the  object  of  contempt,  but 
sometimes  a  crucifix  is  used,  or  a  painting  of  the  crucifixion  in  an 
illuminated  missal ;  the  cross  on  the  preceptor's  mantle  is  a  com- 
mon device,  and  even  two  straws  laid  crosswise  on  the  ground  suf- 
fices. In  some  cases  spitting  thrice  upon  the  ground  was  only 
required,  without  anything  being  said  as  to  its  being  in  disrespect 
of  Christ.^  Many  witnesses  declared  that  the  sacrilege  was  per- 
formed in  full  view  of  the  assembled  brethren,  others  that  the 
neophyte  was  taken  into  a  dark  corner,  or  behind  the  altar,  or  into 
another  room  carefully  closed ;  in  one  case  it  took  place  in  a  field, 
in  another  in  a  grange,  in  another  in  a  cooper-shop,  and  in  another 


opened  it,  when  a  sudden  storm  burst  over  the  ship  and  sank  it  with  all  on 
board,  except  a  few  sailors  who  escaped  to  tell  the  tale.  Since  then  no  fish  have 
been  found  in  that  part  of  the  sea  (lb.  223-4).  Guillaume  Avril  had  been  seven 
years  beyond  seas  without  hearing  of  the  head,  but  had  been  told  that  in  the 
whirlpool  of  Setalias  a  head  sometimes  appeared,  and  then  all  the  vessels  there 
were  lost  (lb.  238).  All  this  rubbish  was  sent  to  the  Council  of  Vienne  as  part 
of  the  evidence  against  the  Order 

*  Proces,  I.  233,  242,  250,  414,  423,  429,  533,  536,  546,  etc. 

t  Proces,  I.  233 ;  II.  219,  232,  237,  264,— Raynouard,  274-5, 279-80.— Bini,  pp. 
463,  497. 

At  the  feast  of  the  Holy  Cross  in  May  and  September,  and  on  Good  Friday, 
the  Templars  all  assembled,  and,  laying  aside  shoes  and  head-gear  and  swords, 
adored  the  cross,  with  the  hymn — 

Ador  te  Crist  et  benesesc  te  Crist 

Qui  per  la  sancta  tua  crou  nos  resemist. — 

(Proces,  II.  474,  491,  503.) 

X  Proces,  I.  233,  250,  536,  539,  541,  546,  606  ;  II.  226,  232,  336,  360,  369.— 
Piaynouard,  p.  275. 


THE    TEMPLARS.  273 

in  a  room  used  for  the  manufacture  of  shoes.*  As  a  rule  the  pre- 
ceptor was  represented  as  enforcing  it,  but  in  many  cases  the  duty 
was  confided  to  one  or  more  serving  brethren,  and  in  one  instance 
the  person  officiating  had  his  head  hidden  in  a  cowl.f  Almost 
universally  it  formed  part  of  the  ceremonies  of  reception,  some- 
times even  before  the  vows  were  administered  or  the  mantle  be- 
stowed, but  generally  at  the  conclusion,  after  the  neophyte  was 
fully  committed,  but  there  were  occasional  instances  in  which  it 
was  postponed  until  a  later  hour,  or  to  the  next  day,  or  to  longer 
intervals,  extending,  in  one  or  two  cases,  to  months  and  years.:): 
Some  witnesses  declared  that  it  formed  part  of  all  receptions; 
others  that  it  had  been  enforced  in  their  case,  but  they  had  never 
seen  it  or  heard  of  it  in  other  receptions  at  which  they  had  been 
present.  In  general  they  swore  that  they  were  told  it  was  a  rule 
of  the  Order,  but  some  said  that  it  was  explained  to  them  as  a  joke, 
and  others  that  they  were  told  to  do  it  with  the  mouth  and  not 
with  the  heart.  One,  indeed,  deposed  that  he  had  been  offered  the 
choice  between  renouncing  Christ,  spitting  on  the  cross,  and  the 
indecent  kiss,  and  he  selected  the  spitting.§  In  fact,  the  evidence 
as  to  the  enforcement  of  the  sacrilege  is  hopelessly  contradictory. 
In  many  cases  the  neophyte  was  excused  after  a  slight  resistance ; 
in  others  he  was  thrust  into  a  dark  dungeon  until  he  yielded. 
Egidio,  Preceptor  of  San  Gemignano  of  Florence,  stated  that  he 
had  known  two  recalcitrant  neophytes  carried  in  chains  to  Eome, 
where  they  perished  in  prison,  and  Niccold  Kegino,  Preceptor  of 
Grosseto,  said  that  recusants  were  slain,  or  sent  to  distant  parts, 
like  Sardinia,  where  they  ended  their  days.  Geoffroi  de  Charney, 
Preceptor  of  Normandy,  swore  that  he  enforced  it  upon  the  first 
neophyte  whom  he  received,  but  that  he  never  did  so  afterwards, 
and  Gui  Dauphin,  one  of  the  high  officers  of  the  Order,  said  virtu- 
ally the  same  thing ;  Gaucher  de  Liancourt,  Preceptor  of  Keims, 
on  the  other  hand,  testified  that  he  had  required  it  in  all  cases,  for 


*  Proems,  I.  530,  533,  536,  539,  544,  549,  565,  572,  622 ;  II.  24,  27,  29,  31,  120, 
280,  362,  546,  579.— Schottmuller,  II.  413. 

t  Proems,  I.  386,  536,  539,  565,  572,  592. 

X  Proces,  I.  413,  434,  444,  469,  504,  559,  562;  II.  75,  99,  113,  123,  205.— Ray- 
nouard,  p.  280.— Schottmuller,  op.  cit.  II.  132,  410. 

§  Proces,  I.  407,  418,  435,  462,  572,  588 ;  II.  27,  38,  67, 174,  185,  214. 
III.— 18 


274  POLITICAL   HERESY,— THE    STATE. 

if  he  had  not  he  would  have  been  imprisoned  for  life,  and  Hugues 
de  Peraud,  the  Visitor  of  France,  declared  that  it  was  obligatory 
on  him.* 

It  would  be  a  work  of  supererogation  to  pursue  this  examina- 
tion further.  The  same  irreconcilable  confusion  reigns  in  the  evi- 
dence as  to  the  other  charges — the  cord  of  chastity,  the  obscene 
kiss,  the  mutilation  of  the  canon  of  the  mass,f  the  power  of  abso- 
lution assigned  to  the  Grand  Master,  the  license  for  unnatural 
crime.  It  might  be  argued,  as  these  witnesses  had  been  received 
into  the  Order  at  times  varying  from  fifty  to  sixty  years  previous 
to  within  a  few  months,  and  at  places  so  widely  apart  as  Palestine 
and  England,  that  these  variations  are  explicable  by  local  usages 
or  by  a  gradually  perfected  belief  and  ritual.  An  investigation  of 
the  confessions  shows,  however,  that  no  such  explanation  will  suf- 
fice ;  there  can  be  no  grouping  as  to  the  time  or  place  of  the  cere- 
mony. Yet  there  can  be  a  grouping  which  is  of  supreme  signifi- 
cance, a  grouping  as  to  the  tribunal  through  which  the  witness 
passed.  This  is  often  very  notable  among  the  two  hundred  and 
twenty-five  who  were  sent  to  the  papal  commission  from  various 
parts  of  France,  and  examined  in  1310  and  1311.  As  a  rule  they 
manifested  extreme  anxiety  that  their  present  depositions  should 
accord  with  those  which  they  had  made  when  subject  to  inquisi- 
tion by  the  bishops — doubtless  they  made  them  as  nearly  so  as 
their  memories  would  permit — and  it  is  easy  to  see  how  greater  or 
less  rigor,  or  how  concert  between  those  confined  in  the  same  pris- 
on, had  led  to  the  concoction  of  stories  such  as  would  satisfy  their 

*  Proces,  I.  404;  II.  260,  281,  284,  295,  299,  338,  354,  356,  363,  389,  3C0,  395, 
407.— Bini,  pp.  468,  488. 

It  is  not  easy  to  appreciate  the  reasoning  of  Michelet  (Proces,  II.  vii.-viii.), 
■who  argues  that  the  uniformity  of  denial  in  a  series  of  depositions  taken  by  the 
Bishop  of  Elne  suggests  concert  of  statement  agreed  upon  in  advance,  while  the 
variations  in  those  who  admitted  guilt  are  an  evidence  of  their  veracity.  If  the 
Templars  were  innocent,  denials  of  the  charges  read  to  them  seriatim  would  be 
necessarily  identical ;  if  they  were  guilty,  the  confessions  would  be  likewise  uni- 
form. Thus  the  identity  of  the  one  group  and  the  diversity  of  the  other  both 
concur  to  disprove  the  accusations. 

t  Incontrovertible  evidence  that  the  Templar  priests  did  not  mutilate  the 
words  of  consecration  in  the  mass  is  furnished  in  the  Cypriote  i^roceedings  by 
ecclesiastics  who  had  long  dwelt  with  them  in  the  East. — Processus  Cypricus 
^Schottmiiller,  II.  379,  382,  383). 


THE    TEMPLARS.  275 

judges.  Thus  the  confessions  obtained  by  the  Ordinary  of  Poi- 
tiers have  a  character  distinct  from  those  extorted  by  the  Bishop 
of  Clermont,  and  we  can  classify  the  penitents  of  the  Bishop  of 
Le  Mans,  the  Archbishop  of  Sens,  the  Archbishop  of  Tours,  the 
Bishops  of  Amiens,  Rodez,  Macon,  in  fact  of  nearly  all  the  prelates 
who  took  part  in  the  terrible  drama.* 

Another  feature  indicating  the  untrustworthy  character  of  the 
evidence  is  that  large  numbers  of  the  witnesses  swore  that  they 
had  confessed  the  sacrilege  committed  to  priests  and  friars  of  all 
kinds,  to  bishops,  and  even  to  papal  penitentiaries,  and  had  received 
absolution  by  the  imposition  of  penance,  usually  of  a  trifling  char- 
acter, such  as  fasting  on  Fridays  for  a  few  months  or  a  year.f  No 
ordinary  confessor  could  absolve  for  heresy ;  it  was  a  sin  reserved 
for  the  inquisitor,  papal  or  episcopal.  The  most  that  the  con- 
fessor could  have  done  would  have  been  to  send  the  penitent  to 
some  one  competent  to  grant  absolution,  which  would  only  have 
been  administered  under  the  heaviest  penance,  including  denunci- 
ation of  the  Order.  To  suppose,  in  fact,  that  thousands  of  men, 
during  a  period  of  fifty  or  a  hundred  years,  could  have  been  en- 
trapped into  such  a  heresy  without  its  becoming  matter  of  noto- 
riety, is  in  itself  so  violent  an  assumption  as  to  deprive  the  whole 
story  of  all  claims  upon  belief. 

Thus  the  more  closely  the  enormous  aggregate  of  testimony  is 
examined  the  more  utterly  worthless  it  appears,  and  this  is  con- 
firmed by  the  fact  that  nowhere  could  compromising  evidence  be 
obtained  without  the  use  of  inquisitorial  methods.  Had  thousands 
of  men  been  unwillingly  forced  to  abjure  their  faith  and  been  ter- 
rorized into  keeping  the  dread  secret,  as  soon  as  the  pressure  was 
removed  by  the  seizure  there  would  have  been  a  universal  eager- 
ness to  unburden  the  conscience  and  seek  reconciliation  with  the 
Church.  JSTo  torture  would  have  been  requisite  to  obtain  all  the 
evidence  required.     In  view,  therefore,  of  the  extreme  improba- 

*  Proces,  I.  230-1,  264-74,  296-307,  331-67,  477-93,  602-19,  621-41 ;  II.  1-3, 
56-85,  91-114,  122-52,  154-77,  184-91,  234-56,  263-7. 

t  Proces,  I.  298,  305,  319,  336,  372,  401,  405,  427,  436,  etc. 

It  is  not  easy  to  understand  the  prescription  of  Friday  fasting  as  a  penance 
for  a  Templar,  for  the  ascetic  rules  of  the  Order  already  required,  the  most  rigid 
fasting.  Meat  was  only  allowed  three  days  in  the  week,  and  a  second  Lent  was 
kept  from  the  Sunday  before  Martinmas  until  Christmas  (Regie,  §§  15,  57). 


276  POLITICAL   HERESY.— THE   STATE. 

bility  of  the  charge,  of  the  means  employed  to  obtain  proof  for  its 
support,  and  the  lack  of  coherence  in  the  proof  so  obtained,  it  ap- 
pears to  me  that  no  judicial  mind  in  possession  of  the  facts  can 
hesitate  to  pronounce  a  sentence,  not  merely  of  not  proven,  but  of 
acquittal.  The  theory  that  there  were  inner  grades  in  the  Order, 
by  which  those  alone  to  be  trusted  were  initiated  in  its  secret  doc- 
trines, is  perfectly  untenable.  As  there  is  no  evidence  of  any  kind 
to  support  it,  it  is  a  matter  of  mere  conjecture,  which  is  sufficiently 
negatived  by  the  fact  that  with  scarce  an  exception  those  who  con- 
fessed, whether  ploughmen  or  knights,  relate  the  sacrilege  as  tak- 
ing place  on  their  admission.  If  the  witnesses  on  whom  the  pros- 
ecution relied  are  to  be  believed  at  all,  the  infection  pervaded  the 
whole  Order. 

Yet  it  is  by  no  means  improbable  that  there  may  have  been 
some  foundation  for  the  popular  gossip  that  the  neophyte  at  his 
reception  was  forced  to  kiss  the  posteriors  of  his  preceptor.  As 
we  have  seen,  a  large  majority  of  the  Order  consisted  of  serving 
brethren  on  whom  the  knights  looked  down  with  infinite  con- 
tempt. Some  such  occasional  command  on  the  part  of  a  reckless 
knight,  to  enforce  the  principle  of  absolute  obedience,  in  admitting 
a  plebeian  to  nominal  fraternity  and  equality,  would  not  have 
been  foreign  to  the  manners  of  the  age.  Who  can  say,  moreover, 
that  men,  soured  with  the  disillusion  of  life  within  the  Order, 
chafing  under  the  bonds  of  their  irrevocable  vow,  and  perhaps  re- 
leased from  all  religious  convictions  amid  the  license  of  the  East, 
may  not  occasionally  have  tested  the  obedience  of  a  neophyte  by 
bidding  him  to  spit  at  the  cross  on  the  mantle  that  had  grown 
hateful  to  him  '(-    Xo  one  who  recognizes  the  wayward  perversity 


*  This  would  seem  not  unlikely  if  we  are  to  believe  the  confession  of  Jean 
d'Aumones,  a  serving  brother  who  stated  that  at  his  reception  his  preceptor 
turned  all  the  other  brethren  out  of  the  chapel,  and  after  some  difficulty  forced 
him  to  spit  at  the  cross,  after  which  he  said  "  Go,  fool,  and  confess."  This  Jean 
at  once  did,  to  a  Franciscan  who  imposed  on  him  only  the  penance  of  three  Fri- 
day fasts,  saying  that  it  was  intended  as  a  test  of  constancy  in  case  of  capture 
by  the  Saracens  (Proces,  I.  588-91). 

Another  serving  brother,  Pierre  de  Cherrut,  related  that  after  he  had  been 
forced  to  renounce  God  his  preceptor  smiled  disdainfully  at  him,  as  though  de- 
spising him  (lb.  I.  531). 

Equally  suggestive  is  the  story,  told  by  the  serving  brother  Eudes  de  Bures, 


THE    TEMPLARS.  277 

of  human  nature,  or  who  is  familiar  with  the  condition  of  monas- 
ticism  at  the  period,  can  deny  the  possibilities  of  such  occasional 
performances,  whether  as  brutal  jokes  or  spiteful  assertions  of 
supremacy,  but  the  only  rational  conclusion  from  the  whole  tre- 
mendous tragedy  is  that  the  Order  was  innocent  of  the  crime  for 
which  it  was  punished. 

While  Philippe  was  seizing  his  prey,  Clement,  at  Poitiers, 
was  occupied  in  the  equally  lucrative  work  of  sending  collectors 
throughout  Germany  to  exact  a  tithe  of  all  ecclesiastical  revenues 
for  the  recovery  of  the  Holy  Land.  When  aroused  from  this 
with  the  news  that  Philippe,  under  the  authority  of  Frere  Guil- 
laume  the  inquisitor,  had  thus  taken  decided  and  irrevocable  action 
in  a  matter  which  was  still  before  him  for  consideration,  his  first 
emotion  naturally  was  that  of  wounded  pride  and  indignation, 
sharpened  perhaps  by  the  apprehension  that  he  would  not  be  able 
to  secure  his  share  of  the  spoils.  He  dared  not  publicly  disavow 
responsibility  for  the  act,  and  what  would  be  the  current  of  pub- 
lic opinion  outside  of  France  no  man  could  divine.  In  this  cruel 
dilemma  he  wrote  to  Philippe,  October  27,  1307,  expressing  his 
indignation  that  the  king  should  have  taken  action  in  a  matter 
which  the  brief  of  August  24  showed  to  be  receiving  papal  con- 
sideration. Carefully  suppressing  the  fact  of  the  intervention  of 
the  Inquisition  which  legally  justified  the  whole  proceeding,  Clem- 


a  youth  of  twenty  at  the  time,  that  after  his  reception  he  was  taken  into  another 
room  by  two  of  the  brethren  and  forced  to  renounce  Christ.  On  his  refusing  at 
first,  one  of  them  said  that  in  his  country  people  renounced  God  a  hundred  times 
for  a  flea — perhaps  an  exaggeration,  but  "  Je  renye  Dieu  "  was  one  of  the  com- 
monest of  expletives.  When  the  preceptor  heard  him  weeping  he  called  to  the 
tormentors  to  let  him  alone,  as  they  would  set  him  crazy,  and  he  subsequently 
told  Eudes  that  it  was  a  joke  (lb.  II.  100-2). 

What  is  the  real  import  of  such  incidents  may  be  gathered  from  a  story  re- 
lated by  a  witness  during  the  inquest  held  in  Cyprus,  May,  1310.  He  had  heard 
from  a  Genoese  named  Matteo  Zaccaria,  who  had  long  been  a  prisoner  in  Cairo, 
that  when  the  news  of  the  proceedings  against  the  Order  reached  the  Soldan 
of  Egypt  he  drew  from  his  prisons  about  forty  Templars  captured  ten  years  be- 
fore on  the  island  of  Tortosa,  and  offered  them  wealth  if  they  would  renounce 
their  religion.  Surprised  and  angered  by  their  refusal,  he  remanded  them  to 
their  dungeons  and  ordered  them  to  be  deprived  of  food  and  drink,  when  they 
perished  to  a  man  rather  than  apostatize. — Schottmiiller,  op.  cit.  II.  160. 


278  POLITICAL    HERESY.  — THE    STATE. 

ent  sought  a  further  ground  of  complaint  .by  reminding  the  king 
that  Templars  were  not  under  royal  jurisdiction,  but  under  that 
of  the  Holy  See,  and  he  had  committed  a  grave  act  of  disobedi- 
ence in  seizing  their  persons  and  property,  both  of  which  must  be 
forthwith  delivered  to  two  cardinals  sent  for  the  purpose.  These 
were  Berenger  de  Fredole,  Cardinal  of  SS.  JSTereo  and  Achille, 
and  Etienne  de  Suissi  of  S.  Ciriaco,  both  Frenchmen  and  creatures 
of  Philippe,  who  had  procured  their  elevation  to  the  sacred  college. 
He  seems  to  have  had  no  trouble  in  coming  to  an  understanding 
with  them,  for,  though  the  trials  and  tortures  were  pushed  unre- 
mittingly, another  letter  of  Clement's,  December  1.  praises  the 
king  for  putting  the  matter  in  the  hands  of  the  Holy  See,  and  one 
of  Philippe's  of  December  24  announces  that  he  had  no  intention 
of  infringing  on  the  rights  of  the  Church  and  does  not  intend  to 
abandon  his  own ;  he  has,  he  says,  delivered  the  Templars  to  the 
cardinals,  and  the  administration  of  their  property  shall  be  kept 
separate  from  that  of  the  crown.  Clement's  susceptibilities  be- 
ing thus  soothed,  even  before  the  trials  at  Paris  were  ended  he  is- 
sued, November  22,  the  bull  Pastoralis  prcBeminentice,  addressed  to 
all  the  potentates  of  Europe,  in  which  he  related  what  Philippe 
had  done  at  the  requisition  of  the  Inquisitor  of  France,  in  order 
that  the  Templars  might  be  presented  to  the  judgment  of  the 
Church;  how  the  chiefs  of  the  Order  had  confessed  the  crimes 
imputed  to  them  ;  how  he  himself  had  examined  one  of  them  who 
was  employed  about  his  person  and  had  confirmed  the  truth  of 
the  allegations.  Therefore  he  orders  all  the  sovereigns  to  do  like- 
wise, retaining  the  prisoners  and  holding  their  property  in  the 
name  of  the  pope  and  subject  to  his  order.  Should  the  Order 
prove  innocent  the  property  is  to  be  restored  to  it,  otherwise  it 
is  to  be  employed  for  the  recovery  of  the  Holy  Land.*     This 


*  Regest.  Clement.  PP.  V.  T.  II.  p.  95.— Du  Puy,  pp.  117-18, 124, 134.— Schott- 
miiller,  I.  94.— Rymer,  Feed.  III.  30.— MSS.  Chioccarello  T.  VIII.— Mag.  Bull. 
Rom.  IX.  126,  131.— Zurita,  Lib.  v.  c.  73. 

Apparently  there  was  a  general  expectation  that  the  Hospitallers  would  share 
the  fate  of  the  Templars,  and  a  disposition  was  manifested  at  once  to  pillage 
them,  for  Clement  felt  obliged,  December  21,  1307,  to  issue  a  bull  confirming  all 
their  privileges  and  immunities,  and  to  send  throughout  Europe  letters  ordering 
them  to  be  protected  from  all  encroachments  (Regest.  Clem.  PP.  V.  T  III.  pp. 
14,  17-18,  20-1,  273;  T.  IV.  p.  418). 


THE    TEMPLARS.  279 

was  the  irrevocable  act  which  decided  the  fate  of  the  Templars,  as 
we  shall  see  hereafter  when  we  consider  the  action  of  the  princes 
of  Europe  outside  of  France. 

Philippe  thus  had  forced  Clement's  hand,  and  Clement  was 
fairly  committed  to  the  investigation,  which  in  the  hands  of  the 
Inquisition  could  only  end  in  the  destruction  of  the  Order.  Secure 
in  his  position,  the  king  pushed  on  the  examination  of  the  prison- 
ers throughout  the  kingdom,  and  the  vigilance  of  his  agents  is 
shown  in  the  case  of  two  German  Templars  returning  home,  whom 
they  arrested  at  Chaumont  and  delivered  to  the  Inquisitor  of  the 
Three  Bishoprics.  One  was  a  priest,  the  other  a  serving  brother, 
and  the  inquisitor  in  reporting  to  Philippe  says  that  he  had  not 
tortured  the  latter  because  he  was  very  sick,  but  that  neither  had 
admitted  that  there  was  in  the  Order  aught  that  was  not  pure 
and  holy.  The  examinations  went  on  during  the  winter  of  1308, 
when  Clement  unexpectedly  put  a  stop  to  them.  "What  was  his 
motive  we  can  only  conjecture ;  probably  he  found  that  Philippe's 
promises  with  regard  to  the  Templar  possessions  were  not  likely 
to  be  fulfilled,  and  that  an  assertion  of  his  control  was  necessary. 
Whatever  his  reasons,  he  suddenly  suspended  in  the  premises  the 
power  of  all  the  inquisitors  and  bishops  in  France  and  evoked  to 
himself  the  cognizance  of  the  whole  affair,  alleging  that  the  sud- 
denness of  the  seizure  without  consulting  him,  although  so  near 
and  so  accessible,  had  excited  in  him  grave  suspicions,  which  had 
not  been  allayed  by  the  records  of  the  examinations  submitted  to 
him,  for  these  were  of  a  character  rather  to  excite  incredulity — 
though  in  November  he  had  proclaimed  to  all  Christendom  his 
conviction  of  their  truth.  It  shows  how  completely  the  whole 
judicial  proceedings  were  inquisitional  that  this  brought  them  to 
an  immediate  close,  provoking  Philippe  to  uncontrollable  wrath. 
Angrily  he  wrote  to  Clement  that  he  had  sinned  greatly :  even 
popes,  he  hints,  may  fall  into  heresy ;  he  had  wronged  all  the  prel- 
ates and  inquisitors  of  France ;  he  had  inspired  the  Templars 
with  hopes  and  they  were  retracting  their  confessions,  especially 
Hugues  de  Peraud,  who  had  had  the  honor  of  dining  with  the 
cardinal-deputies.  Evidently  some  intrigue  was  on  foot,  and  Clem- 
ent was  balancing,  irresolute  as  to  which  side  offered  most  advan- 
tage, and  satisfied  at  least  to  show  to  Philippe  that  he  was  indis- 
pensable.    Philippe  at  first  was  disposed  to  assert  his  indepen- 


280  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE    STATE. 

dence  and  claim  jurisdiction,  and  he  applied  to  the  University  for 
an  opinion  to  support  his  claims,  but  the  Faculty  of  Theology  re- 
plied, March  25, 1308,  as  it  could  not  help  doing :  the  Templars 
were  religious  and  consequently  exempt  from  secular  jurisdiction  ; 
the  only  cognizance  which  a  secular  court  could  have  over  heresy 
was  at  the  request  of  the  Church  after  it  had  abandoned  the 
heretic;  in  case  of  necessity  the  secular  power  could  arrest  a 
heretic,  but  it  could  only  be  for  the  purpose  of  delivering  him 
to  the  ecclesiastical  court ;  and  finally  the  Templar  property  must 
be  held  for  the  purpose  for  which  it  was  given  to  the  Order.* 

Philippe,  thus  foiled,  proceeded  to  bring  a  still  stronger  pressure 
to  bear  on  Clement.  He  appealed  to  his  subservient  bishops  and 
summoned  a  national  assembly,  to  meet  April  15  in  Tours,  to  delib- 
erate with  him  on  the  subject  of  the  Templars.  Already,  at  the 
Assemblv  of  Paris  in  1302,  he  had  called  in  the  Tiers-Etat  and  had 
learned  to  value  its  support  in  his  quarrel  with  Boniface,  and  now 
he  again  brought  in  the  communes,  thus  founding  the  institution 
of  the  States-General.  After  some  delay  the  assembly  met  in 
May.  In  his  summons  Philippe  had  detailed  the  crimes  of  the 
Templars  as  admitted  facts  which  ought  to  arouse  for  their  pun- 
ishment not  only  arms  and  the  laws,  but  brute  cattle  and  the  four 
elements.  He  desired  his  subjects  to  jmrticipate  in  the  pious  work, 
and  therefore  he  ordered  the  towns  to  select  each  two  deputies 
zealous  for  the  faith.  From  a  gathering  collected  under  such  im- 
pulsion it  was  not  difficult,  in  spite  of  the  secret  leaning  of  the 
nobles  to  the  proscribed  Order,  to  procure  a  virtually  unanimous 
expression  of  opinion  that  the  Templars  deserved  death.f 

With  the  prestige  of  the  nation  at  his  back,  Philippe  went  from 
Tours,  at  the  end  of  May,  to  Clement  at  Poitiers,  accompanied  by 
a  strong  deputation,  including  his  brothers,  his  sons,  and  his  coun- 


*  Du  Puy,  pp.  12-13,  84-5,  89,  109,  111-12,  134.— D'Achery  Spicileg.  II. 
199.— Raynouard,  p.  238,  306. 

Jean  de  S.  Victor  gives  the  date  of  the  declaration  of  the  University  as  the 
Saturday  after  Ascension  (May  25,  ap.  Bouquet,  XXI.  651),  but  Du  Puy  de- 
scribes the  document  as  sealed  with  fourteen  seals,  and  dated  on  Lady  Day 
(March  25). 

t  Archives  Administrates  de  Reims,  T.  II.  pp.  65,  66. — Chassaing  Spicile- 
gium  Brivatense,  pp.  274-5. — Du  Puy,  pp.  38-9,  85,  113, 116. — Contin.  Naugiac. 
ann.  1308. — Joann.  de  S.  Victor.  (Bouquet,  XXI.  650). — Raynouard,  p.  42. 


THE    TEMPLARS. 


281 


cillors.     Long  and  earnest  were  the  disputations  over  the  affair, 
Philippe  urging,  through  his  spokesman,  Guillaume  de  Plaisian,  that 
the  Templars  had  been  found  guilty  and  that  immediate  punish- 
ment should  follow;   Clement  reiterating  his  grievance  that  an 
affair  of  such  magnitude,  exclusively  appertaining  to  the  Holy 
See,  should  be  carried  on  without  his  initiative.     A  body  like  the 
Order  of  the  Temple  had  powerful  friends  all  over  Europe  whose 
influence  with  the  curia  was  great,  and  the  papal  perplexities  were 
manifold  as  one  side  or  the  other  preponderated ;   but  Clement 
had  irrevocably  committed  himself  in  the  face  of  all  Europe  by 
his  bull  of  November  22,  and  it  was  in  reality  but  a  question  of 
the  terms  on  which  he  would  allow  the  affair  to  go  on  in  France 
by  removing  the  suspension  of  the  powers  of  the  Inquisition.    The 
bargaining  was  sharp,  but  an  agreement  was  reached.    As  Clement 
had  reserved  the  matter  for  papal  judgment,  it  was  necessary  that 
some  show  of  investigation  should  be  had.    Seventy-two  Templars 
were  drawn  from  the  prisons  of  Paris  to  be  examined  by  the  pope 
and  sacred  college,  that  they  might  be  able  to  assert  personal 
knowledge  of  their  guilt.     Clement  might  well  shrink  from  con- 
fronting de  Molay  and  the  chiefs  of  the  Order  whom  he  was  be- 
traying, while  at  the  same  time  they  could  not  be  arbitrarily  omit- 
ted.    They  were  therefore  stopped  at  Chinon  near  Tours,  under 
pretext  of  sickness,  while  the  others  were  sent  forward  to  Poitiers. 
From  the  28th  of  June  to  July  1  they  were  solemnly  examined  by 
five  cardinals  friendly  to  Philippe  deputed  for  the  purpose.     The 
official  report  of  the  examinations  shows  the  care  which  had  been 
exercised  in  the  selection  of  those  who  were  to  perform  this  scene 
in  the  drama.     A  portion  of  them  were  spontaneous  witnesses 
who  had  left,  or  had  tried  to  leave,  the  Order.    The  rest,  with  the 
terrible  penalty  for  retraction  impending  over  them,  confirmed  the 
confessions  made  before  the  Inquisition,  which  in  many  cases  had 
been  extracted  by  torture.    Then,  July  2,  they  were  brought  before 
the  pope  in  full  consistory  and  the  same  scene  was  enacted.    Thus 
the  papal  jurisdiction  was  recognized ;  Clement  in  his  subsequent 
bulls  could  speak  of  his  own  knowledge,  and  could  declare  that  the 
accused  had  confessed  their  errors  spontaneously  and  without  coer- 
cion, and  had  humbly  begged  for  absolution  and  reconciliation.* 


Ptol.  Lucens.  Hist.  Eccles.  Lib.  xxiv.  (Muratori  S.  R.  I.  XI.  1229-30).— 


2S2  POLITICAL   HERESY.  — THE   STATE. 

The  agreement  duly  executed  between  Clement  and  Philippe 
bore  that  the  Templars  should  be  delivered  to  the  pope,  but  be 
guarded  in  his  name  by  the  king ;  that  their  trials  should  be  pro- 
ceeded with  by  the  bishops  in  their  several  dioceses,  to  whom,  at 
the  special  and  earnest  request  of  the  king,  the  inquisitors  were 
adjoined — but  de  Molay  and  the  Preceptors  of  the  East,  of  Xor- 
mandy,  Poitou,  and  Provence,  were  reserved  for  the  papal  judg- 
ment ;  the  property  was  to  be  placed  in  the  hands  of  commission- 
ers named  by  the  pope  and  bishops,  to  whom  the  king  was  secretly 
to  add  appointees  of  his  own,  but  he  was  to  pledge  himself  in  writ- 
ing that  it  should  be  employed  solely  for  the  Holy  Land.  Clement 
assumed  that  the  fate  of  the  Order,  as  an  institution,  was  too 
weighty  a  question  to  be  decided  without  the  intervention  of  a 
general  council,  and  it  was  decided  to  call  one  in  October,  1310. 
The  Cardinal  of  Palestrina  was  named  as  the  papal  representative 
in  charge  of  the  persons  of  the  Templars — a  duty  which  he  speed- 
ily fulfilled  by  transferring  them  to  the  king  under  condition  that 
they  should  be  held  at  the  disposition  of  the  Church.  Clement 
performed  his  part  of  the  bargain  by  removing,  July  5,  the  sus- 
pension of  the  inquisitors  and  bishops,  and  restoring  their  jurisdic- 
tion in  the  matter.  Directions  were  sent  at  the  same  time  to  each 
of  the  bishops  in  France  to  associate  with  himself  two  cathedral 
canons,  two  Dominicans,  and  two  Franciscans,  and  proceed  with 
the  trials  of  the  individual  Templars  within  his  diocese,  admitting 
inquisitors  to  participate  at  will,  but  taking  no  action  against  the 
Order  as  a  whole  ;  all  persons  were  ordered,  under  pain  of  excom- 
munication, to  arrest  Templars  and  deliver  them  to  the  inquisitors 
or  episcopal  officials,  and  Philippe  furnished  twenty  copies  of  royal 
letters  commanding  his  subjects  to  restore  to  the  papal  deputies 
all  property,  real  and  personal,  of  the  Order.* 


Joann.  de  S.Victor  (Bouquet,  XXL  650). — Raynouard,  pp.  44-5,  245-52.— Du  Puy, 
pp.  13-14. — Schottmuller,  op.  cit.  II.  13  sqq. — Bull.  Faciem  misericordiam,  12 
Aug.  1808  (Rymer,  II.  101.— Mag.  Bull.  Rom.  IX.  136). 

*  Du  Puy,  pp.  15-17,  20,  39,  86, 107-8, 118-19, 121-22,  125.— Contin.  Nangiac. 
ann.  1308.— Raynouard,  pp.  46,  49. — Joann.  de  S.  Victor  (Bouquet,  XXI.  651).— 
D'Achery  Spicileg.  II.  200. 

Guillaume  de  Plaisian,  who  had  been  Philippe's  chief  instrument  in  these 
transactions,  received  special  marks  of  Clement's  favor  by  briefs  dated  August 
5  (Regest.  Clement.  PP.  V.  T.  III.  pp.  216,  227). 


THE    TEMPLARS.  283 

Although  Clement  declared  in  his  bulls  to  Europe  that  Philippe 
had  manifested  his  disinterestedness  by  surrendering  all  the  Tem- 
plar property,  the  question  was  one  which  gave  rise  to  a  good  deal 
of  skilful  fencing  on  both  sides.  It  is  not  worth  while  to  pursue 
the  affair  in  its  details,  but  we  shall  see  how  in  the  end  Philippe 
successfully  cheated  his  partner  in  the  game  and  retained  the  con- 
trol which  he  apparently  gave  up.* 

The  rival  powers  having  thus  come  to  an  understanding  about 
their  victims,  proceedings  were  resumed  with  fresh  energy.  Clem- 
ent made  up  for  his  previous  hesitation  with  ample  show  of  zeal. 
De  Molay  and  the  chief  officials  with  him  were  detained  at  Chinon 
until  the  middle  of  August,  when  the  Cardinals  of  SS.  Nereo  and 
Achille,  of  S.  Ciriaco  and  of  S.  Angelo,  were  sent  thither  to  ex- 
amine them.  These  reported,  August  20,  to  Philippe,  that  on  the 
17th  and  following  days  they  had  interrogated  the  Grand  Master, 
the  Master  of  Cyprus,  the  Visitor  of  France,  and  the  Preceptors  of 
Normandy  and  Poitou,  who  had  confirmed  their  previous  confes- 
sions and  had  humbly  asked  for  absolution  and  reconciliation, 
which  had  been  duly  given  them,  and  the  king  is  asked  to  pardon 
them.  There  are  two  things  noteworthy  in  this  which  illustrate 
the  duplicity  pervading  the  whole  affair.  In  the  papal  bulls  of 
August  12,  five  davs  before  this  examination  was  commenced,  its 
results  are  fully  set  forth,  with  the  assertion  that  the  confessions 
were  free  and  spontaneous.  Moreover,  when,  in  November,  1309, 
this  bull  was  read  over  by  the  papal  commission  to  de  Molay,  on 
hearing:  its  recital  of  Avhat  he  was  said  to  have  confessed  he  was 
stupefied,  and,  crossing  himself  twice,  said  he  wished  to  God  the 


*  Bull.  Faciensmisericordiam.—RsLynaAd.  aim.  1309,  No.  3.— Du  Puy,  pp.  64-5, 
86-88,  127,  207-9.— Proces  des  Templiers  I.  50-2.—  Raynouard,  p.  47.— Regest. 
Clement.  PP.  V.  T.  IV.  pp.  433-4. 

Clement  appointed  six  curators  in  France  to  look  after  the  property  for  the 
Holy  See.  By  letters  of  January  5,  1309,  he  gave  them  an  allowance  from  the 
Templai  property  of  forty  sous  parisis  of  good  money  each  for  every  night  which 
they  might  have  to  spend  away  from  home,  at  the  same  time  cautioning  them 
that  they  must  not  fraudulently  leave  their  houses  without  necessity  (Regest. 
T.  IV.  p.  439).  A  brief  of  January  28,  1310,  transferring  from  the  Bishop  of 
Vaison  to  the  canon,  Gerard  de  Bussy,  the  custody  of  certain  Templar  houses, 
shows  that  Clement  succeeded  in  obtaining  possession  of  a  portion  (lb.  T.  V. 
p.  56). 


2S4  POLITICAL    HERESY.  — THE   STATE. 

custom  of  the  Saracens  and  Tartars  were  observed  towards  persons 
so  perverse,  for  they  beheaded  or  cut  in  two  those  who  thus  per- 
verted the  truth.  He  might  have  said  more  had  not  Guillaume  de 
Plaisian,  the  royal  agent,  who  pretended  to  be  his  friend,  cautioned 
him  as  to  the  risk  which  he  ran  in  thus  constructivelv  retracting 
his  confession,  and  he  contented  himself  with  asking  for  time  for 
consideration.* 

On  August  12  Clement  issued  a  series  of  bulls  which  res:u- 
lated  the  methods  of  procedure  in  the  case,  and  showed  that  he  was 
prepared  fully  to  perform  his  part  of  the  agreement  with  Philippe. 
The  bull  Faciens  raise ricordiam,  addressed  to  the  prelates  of  Chris- 
tendom, recited  at  great  length  the  proceedings  thus  far  taken 
against  the  accused,  and  the  guilt  which  they  had  spontaneously 
acknowledged  ;  it  directed  the  bishops,  in  conjunction  with  inquisi- 
torial commissioners  appointed  by  the  pope,  to  summon  all  Tem- 
plars before  them  and  make  inquisition  concerning  them.  After 
this  provincial  councils  were  to  be  summoned,  where  the  guilt  or 
innocence  of  the  individuals  was  to  be  determined,  and  in  all  the 
proceedings  the  local  inquisitors  had  a  right  to  take  part.  The 
results  of  the  inquisitions,  moreover,  were  to  be  promptly  trans- 
mitted to  the  pope.  With  this  was  enclosed  a  long  and  elaborate 
series  of  articles  on  which  the  accused  were  to  be  examined — arti- 
cles drawn  up  in  Paris  by  the  royal  officials — and  the  whole  was 
ordered  to  be  published  in  the  vernacular  in  all  parish  churches. 
The  bull  Regnans  m  caelis,  addressed  to  all  princes  and  prelates, 
repeated  the  narrative  part  of  the  other,  and  ended  by  convoking, 
for  October  1,  1310,  a  general  council  at  Tienne.  to  decide  as  to 
the  fate  of  the  Order,  to  consult  as  to  the  recovery  of  the  Holy 
Land,  and  to  take  such  action  as  might  be  required  for  the  refor- 
mation of  the  Church.  By  another  bull,  Faciens  miser  icordiam, 
dated  August  8,  a  formal  summons  was  issued  to  all  and  singular 
of  the  Templars  to  appear  before  the  council,  personally  or  by  pro- 
curators, on  a  certain  day,  to  answer  to  the  charges  against  the 
Order,  and  the  Cardinal  of  Palestrina,  who  was  in  charge  of  them, 
was  ordered  to  produce  de  Molay  and  the  Preceptors  of  France, 
Normandy,  Poitou,  Aquitaine,  and  Provence  to  receive  sentence. 
This  was  the  simplest  requirement  of  judicial  procedure,  and  the 


*  Du  Puy  pp.  33-4, 133. — Bull.  Facicm  miser icordiam. — Procfes,  I.  34-5. 


THE    TEMPLARS.  285 

manner  in  which  it  was  subsequently  eluded  forms  one  of  the  dark- 
est features  in  the  whole  transaction.  Finally  there  were  other 
bulls  elaborately  providing  for  the  payment  of  the  papal  commis- 
sioners and  inquisitors,  and  ordering  the  Templar  possessions  ev- 
ery „rhere  to  be  sequestrated  to  await  the  result  of  the  trial,  and 
to  be  devoted  to  the  Holy  Land  in  case  of  condemnation.  Much,  it 
was  stated,  had  already  been  wickedly  seized  and  appropriated,  and 
all  persons  were  summoned  to  make  restitution,  under  pain  of  ex- 
communication. All  debtors  to  the  Order  were  summoned  to  pay, 
and  all  persons  cognizant  of  such  debts  or  of  stolen  property  were 
required  to  give  information.  The  series  of  bulls  was  completed 
by  one  of  December  30,  to  be  read  in  all  churches,  declaring  all 
Templars  to  be  suspect  of  heresy,  ordering  their  capture  as  such 
and  delivery  to  the  episcopal  ordinaries,  and  forbidding  all  poten- 
tates and  prelates  from  harboring  them  or  showing  them  any  aid 
or  favor,  under  pain  of  excommunication  and  interdict.  At  the 
same  time  another  bull  was  directed  to  all  the  princes  of  Christen- 
dom, commanding  them  to  seize  any  Templars  who  might  as  yet 
not  have  been  arrested.* 

The  prosecution  of  the  Templars  throughout  Europe  was  thus 
organized.  Even  such  distant  points  as  Achaia,  Corsica,  and  Sar- 
dinia were  not  neglected.  The  large  number  of  special  inquisitors 
to  be  appointed  was  a  work  of  time,  and  the  correspondence  be- 
tween Philippe  and  Clement  on  the  subject  shows  that  they  vir- 
tually were  selected  by  the  king.  In  France  the  work  of  prose- 
cution was  speedily  set  on  foot,  and,  after  a  respite  of  some  six 
months,  the  Templars  found  themselves  transferred  from  the  im- 
provised inquisitorial  tribunals  set  on  foot  by  Frere  Guillaume  to 
the  episcopal  courts  as  provided  by  Clement.     In  every  diocese 

*  Rymer,III.  101.— Mag.  Bull.  Rom.  IX.  134,  136.— Harduin.  VII.  1283,  1289, 
1321,  1353.— Schmidt,  Pabstliche  Urkunden  und  Regesten,  Halle,  1886,  pp. 
71-2.—  Raynald.  aim.  1308,  No.  8.— Contin.  Guill.  Nangiac.  ann.  1308.—  Ray- 
nouard,  p.  50.— Regest.  Clement.  PP.  V.  T.  III.  pp.  281  sqq.,  pp.  363  sqq.,  386 
sqq.;  T.  IV.  pp.  3,  276  sqq.,  479-82. 

The  Master  of  England  and  the  Master  of  Germany  were  reserved  for  papal 
judgment.  The  bull  Faciens  misericordiam,  addressed  to  Germany,  contained  no 
command  to  assemble  provincial  councils  (Harduin.  VII.  1353). 

In  spite  of  all  that  had  occurred,  this  bull  seems  to  have  taken  the  public  by 
surprise  outside  of  France.  Walter  of  Hemingford  calls  it  "  uullam  horribilem 
contra  Templarios  "  (Chron.  Ed.  1849,  II.  279). 


2S6  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE    STATE. 

the  bishops  were  soon  busily  at  work.  Curiously  enough,  some  of 
them  doubted  whether  they  could  use  torture,  and  applied  for  in- 
structions, to  which  Clement  answered  that  they  were  to  be  gov- 
erned by  the  written  law,  which  removed  their  misgivings.  The 
papal  instructions  indicate  that  these  proceedings  only  concerned 
those  Templars  who  had  not  passed  through  the  hands  of  Frere 
Guillaume  and  his  commissioners,  but  there  seems  to  have  been 
little  distinction  observed  as  to  this.  Clement  urged  forward  the 
proceedings  with  little  regard  to  formality,  and  authorized  the 
bishops  to  act  outside  of  their  respective  dioceses,  and  without 
respect  to  the  place  of  origin  of  the  accused.  The  sole  object 
evidently  was  to  extract  from  them  satisfactory  confessions,  as 
a  preparation  for  the  provincial  councils  which  were  to  be  sum- 
moned for  their  final  judgment.  Those  who  had  already  confessed 
were  not  likely  to  retract.  Before  the  papal  commission  in  1310, 
Jean  de  Cochiac  exhibited  a  letter  from  Philippe  de  Yohet  and 
Jean  de  Jamville,  the  papal  and  royal  custodians  of  the  prisoners, 
to  those  confined  at  Sens  at  the  time  the  Bishop  of  Orleans  was 
sent  there  to  examine  them  (the  archbishopric  of  Sens  was  then 
vacant),  warning  them  that  those  who  revoked  the  confessions 
made  before  "  los  quizitor  "  would  be  burned  as  relapsed.  Yohet, 
when  summoned  before  the  commission,  admitted  the  seal  to  be 
his,  but  denied  authorizing  the  letter,  and  the  commission  prudent- 
ly abstained  from  pushing  the  investigation  further.  The  nervous 
anxiety  manifested  by  most  of  those  brought  before  the  commis- 
sion that  their  statements  should  accord  with  what  they  had  said 
before  the  bishops,  shows  that  they  recognized  the  danger  which 
they  incurred.* 

The  treatment  of  those  who  refused  to  confess  varied  with 
the  temper  of  the  bishops  and  their  adjuncts.  The  records  of 
their  tribunals  have  mostly  disappeared,  and  we  are  virtually  left 
to  gather  what  we  can  from  the  utterances  of  a  few  witnesses 
who  made  to  the  commission  chance  allusions  to  their  former  ex- 
periences. Yet  the  proceedings  before  the  Bishop  of  Clermont 
would  show  that  they  were  not  in  all  cases  treated  with  undue 
harshness.    He  had  sixty-nine  Templars,  of  whom  forty  confessed, 


*  Du  Puy,  pp.  110,  125.— Raynouard,  p.  130.— Regest.  Clement.  PP.  Y  T.  IV. 
pp.  453-55,  457-8.— Proces,  I.  71-2, 128, 132,  135,  463,  511,  540,  etc. 


THE    TEMPLARS.  287 

and  twenty-nine  refused  to  admit  any  evil  in  the  Order.  Then  he 
assembled  them  and  divided  them  into  the  two  groups.  The  re- 
cusants declared  that  they  adhered  to  their  assertion,  and  that  if 
they  should  subsequently  confess  through  fear  of  torture,  prison, 
or  other  affliction,  they  protested  that  they  should  not  be  believed, 
and  that  it  should  not  prejudice  them,  nor  does  it  appear  that  any 
constraint  was  afterwards  put  upon  them.  The  others  were  asked 
whether  they  had  any  defence  to  offer,  or  whether  they  were  ready 
for  definitive  sentence,  when  they  unanimously  declared  that  they 
had  nothing  to  offer  nor  wished  to  hear  their  sentence,  but  sub- 
mitted themselves  to  the  mercy  of  the  Church.  What  that  mercy 
was  we  shall  see  hereafter.  All  bishops  were  not  as  mild  as  he 
of  Clermont,  but  in  the  fragmentary  recitals  before  the  commis- 
sion it  is  not  always  easy  to  distinguish  the  action  of  the  episco- 
pal tribunals  from  that  of  Frere  Guillaume's  inquisitors.  A  few 
instances  will  suffice  to  show  how,  between  the  two,  testimony 
was  obtained  against  the  Order.  Jean  de  Rompreye,  a  husband- 
man, declared  that  he  knew  nothing  but  good  of  the  Order,  al- 
though he  had  confessed  otherwise  before  the  Bishop  of  Orleans 
after  being  thrice  tortured.  Robert  Yigier,  a  serving  brother,  like- 
wise denied  the  accusations,  though  he  had  confessed  them  before 
the  Bishop  of  Nevers  at  Paris,  on  account  of  the  fierceness  of  the 
torture,  under  which  he  understood  that  three  of  his  comrades, 
Gautier,  Henri,  and  Chanteloup,  had  died.  Bernard  de  Yado,  a 
priest,  had  been  tortured  by  fire  applied  to  the  soles  of  the  feet  to 
such  an  extent  that  a  few  days  afterwards  the  bones  of  his  heels 
dropped  out,  in  testimony  of  which  he  exhibited  the  bones.  Nine- 
teen brethren  from  Perigord  had  confessed  before  the  Bishop  of 
Perigord  through  torture  and  starvation — one  of  them  had  been 
kept  for  six  months  on  bread  and  water,  without  shoes  or  upper 
clothing.  Guillaume  d'Erre,  when  brought  before  the  Bishop  of 
Saintes,  had  denied  all  the  charges,  but  after  being  put  on  bread 
and  water  and  threatened  with  torture,  had  confessed  to  renounc- 
ing Christ  and  spitting  at  the  cross — a  confession  which  he  now 
retracts.  Thomas  de  Pamplona,  under  many  tortures  inflicted  on 
him  at  St.  Jean  d'Angely,  had  confirmed  the  confession  made  by 
de  Molay,  and  then,  upon  being  put  upon  bread  and  water,  had 
confessed  before  the  Bishop  of  Saintes  to  spitting  at  the  cross,  all 
of  which  he  now  retracts.     These  instances  might  be  multiplied 


288  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE    STATE. 

out  of  the  few  who  had  the  hardihood  to  incur  the  risk  of  martyr- 
dom attendant  upon  withdrawing  their  confessions.  Indeed,  in 
the  universal  terror  impressed  on  the  friendless  and  defenceless 
wretches,  we  cannot  condemn  those  who  yielded,  and  can  only  ad- 
mire the  constancy  of  those  who  endured  the  torture  and  braved 
the  stake  in  defence  of  the  Order.  What  was  the  general  feeling 
among  them  was  voiced  by  Aymon  de  Barbara,  who  had  thrice 
been  tortured,  and  had  for  nine  weeks  been  kept  on  bread  and 
water.  He  pitifully  said  that  he  had  suffered  in  body  and  soul, 
but  as  for  retracting  his  confession,  he  would  not  do  so  as  long  as 
he  was  in  prison.  The  mental  struggles  which  the  poor  creatures 
endured  are  well  illustrated  by  Jean  de  Cormele,  Preceptor  of 
Moissac,  who  when  brought  before  the  commission  hesitated  and 
would  not  describe  the  ceremonies  at  his  own  reception,  though 
he  declared  that  he  had  seen  nothing  wrong  at  the  reception  of 
others.  The  recollection  of  the  tortures  which  he  had  endured  in 
Paris,  in  which  he  had  lost  four  teeth,  completely  unnerved  him, 
and  he  begged  to  have  time  for  consideration.  He  was  given 
until  the  next  day,  and  when  he  reappeared  his  resolution  had 
broken  down.  He  confessed  the  whole  catalogue  of  villainies ;  and 
when  asked  if  he  had  consulted  any  one,  denied  it,  but  said  that 
he  had  requested  a  priest  to  say  for  him  a  mass  of  the  Holy  Ghost 
that  God  might  direct  him  what  to  do.* 

These  instances  will  illustrate  the  nature  of  the  work  in  which 
the  whole  episcopate  of  France  was  engaged  during  the  remainder 
of  the  year  1308  and  through  1309  and  1310.  All  this,  however, 
concerned  merely  the  members  of  the  Order  as  individuals.  The 
fate  of  the  Templar  possessions  depended  upon  the  judgment  to 
be  rendered  on  the  Order  as  a  body  corporate,  and  for  this  pur- 
pose Clement  had  assigned  for  it  a  day  on  which  it  was  to  appear 
by  its  syndics  and  procurators  before  the  Council  of  Yienne,  to 
put  in  its  defence  and  show  cause  why  it  should  not  be  abolished. 
Seeing  that  the  officers  and  members  were  scattered  in  prison 
throughout  Europe,  this  was  a  manifest  impossibility,  and  some 
method  was  imperatively  required  by  which  they  could,  at  least 
constructively,  be   represented,  if  only   to  hear  their  sentence. 


*  Raynouard,  pp.  52-3.  —  Procfcs,  I.  40,  75,  230,  506-9,  511-14,  520-1,  527-8; 
II.  13,  18. 


THE    TEMPLARS.  289 

Among  the  bulls  of  August  12,  1308,  therefore,  there  was  one 
creating  a  commission,  with  the  Archbishop  of  Narbonne  at  its 
head,  authorized  to  summon  before  it  all  the  Templars  of  France, 
to  examine  them,  and  to  report  the  result.  Subsequent  bulls  of 
May,  1309,  directed  the  commission  to  set  to  work,  and  notified 
Philippe  concerning  it.  August  8,  1309,  the  commission  assem- 
bled in  the  abbey  of  Sainte-Genevieve,  and  by  letters  addressed 
to  all  the  archbishops  of  the  kingdom  cited  all  Templars  to  ap- 
pear before  them  on  the  first  working-day  after  Martinmas,  and 
the  Order  itself  to  appear  by  its  syndics  and  procurators  at  the 
Council  of  Yienne,  to  receive  such  sentence  as  God  should  decree. 
On  the  appointed  day,  November  12,  the  commissioners  reassem- 
bled, but  no  Templars  appeared.  For  a  week  they  met  daily,  and 
daily  the  form  was  gone  through  of  a  proclamation  by  the  ap- 
paritor that  if  any  one  wished  to  appear  for  the  Order  or  its  mem- 
bers the  commission  was  ready  to  listen  to  him  kindly,  but  with- 
out result.  On  examining  the  replies  of  the  prelates  they  were 
found  to  have  imperfectly  fulfilled  their  duty.  Philippe  evident- 
ly regarded  the  whole  proceeding  with  distrust,  and  was  not  in- 
clined to  aid  it.  A  somewhat  peremptory  communication  on  No- 
vember 18  was  addressed  to  the  Bishop  of  Paris,  explaining  that 
their  proceedings  were  not  against  individuals,  but  against  the 
wmole  Order ;  that  no  one  was  to  be  forced  to  appear,  but  that  all 
who  so  chose  must  be  allowed  to  come.  This  brought  the  bishop 
before  them  on  November  22,  wTith  explanations  and  apologies ; 
and  a  summons  to  Philippe  de  Vohet  and  Jean  de  Jamville,  the 
papal  and  royal  custodians  of  the  Templars,  brought  those  officials 
to  promise  obedience.  Yet  the  obstacles  to  the  performance  of 
their  task  did  not  disappear.  On  the  22d  they  were  secretly  in- 
formed that  some  persons  had  come  to  Paris  in  lay  garments  to 
defend  the  Order,  and  had  been  thrown  in  prison.  Thereupon 
they  sent  for  Jean  de  Plublaveh,  prevot  of  the  Chatelet,  who  said 
that  by  royal  order  he  had  arrested  seven  men  said  to  be  Tem- 
plars in  disguise,  wTho  had  come  with  money  to  engage  advocates 
in  defence  of  the  Order,  but  on  torturing  two  of  them  he  had 
found  this  not  to  be  the  case.  The  matter  proved  to  be  of  little 
significance  except  as  manifesting  the  purpose  of  the  king  to  con- 
trol the  action  of  the  commission.* 

*  Joann.  de  S.  Victor  (Bouquet,  XXI.  654).— Proces,  1. 1-31. 
III.— 19 


290  POLITICAL    HERESY,—  TIIE    STATE. 

At  length  the  commission  succeeded  in  securing  the  presence 
of  de  Molay,  of  Hngues  de  Peraud,  and  of  some  of  the  brethren 
confined  in  Paris.  De  Molay  said  he  was  not  wise  and  learned 
enough  to  defend  the  Order,  but  he  would  hold  himself  vile  and 
miserable  if  he  did  not  attempt  it.  Yet  he  was  a  prisoner  and 
penniless ;  he  had  not  four  deniers  to  spend,  and  only  a  poor  serv- 
ing brother  with  whom  to  advise ;  he  prayed  to  have  aid  and  coun- 
sel, and  he  would  do  his  best.  The  commissioners  reminded  him 
that  trials  for  heresy  were  not  conducted  according  to  legal  forms, 
that  advocates  were  not  admitted,  and  thev  cautioned  him  as  to 
the  risk  he  incurred  in  defending  the  Order  after  the  confession 
which  he  had  made.  Kindly  they  read  over  to  him  the  report  of 
the  cardinals  as  to  his  confession  at  Chinon ;  and  on  his  manifest- 
ing indignation  and  astonishment,  Guillaume  de  Plaisian,  who 
seems  to  have  been  watching  the  proceedings  on  the  part  of  the 
king,  gave  him,  as  we  have  already  seen,  another  friendly  caution 
which  closed  his  lips.  He  asked  for  delay,  and  when  he  reap- 
peared Guillaume  de  Xogaret  was  there  to  take  advantage  of  any 
imprudence.  From  the  papal  letters  which  had  been  read  to  him 
he  learned  that  the  pope  had  reserved  him  and  the  other  chiefs  of 
the  Order  for  special  judgment,  and  he  therefore  asked  to  have 
the  opportunity  of  appearing  before  the  papal  tribunal  without 
delay.  The  shrewdness  of  this  device  thus  made  itself  apparent. 
It  separated  the  leaders  from  the  rest ;  de  Molay,  Hugues  de  Pe- 
raud, and  Geoffroi  de  Gonneville  were  led  to  hope  for  special  con- 
sideration, and  selfishly  abandoned  their  followers.  As  for  the 
brethren,  their  answers  to  the  commission  were  substantiallv  that 
of  Geraud  de  Caux — he  was  a  simple  knight,  without  horse,  arms, 
or  land ;  he  knew  not  how,  and  could  not  defend  the  Order.* 

By  this  time  Philippe  seems  to  have  been  satisfied  that  no 
harm  could  come  from  the  operations  of  the  commission.  His  op- 
position disappeared,  and  he  graciously  lent  them  his  assistance. 
November  28,  a  second  summons  was  sent  to  the  bishops  threaten- 
ing them  with  papal  indignation  for  a  continuance  of  their  neglect, 
and,  what  was  far  more  efficacious,  it  was  accompanied  with  orders 
from  Philippe  directing  his  jailers  to  afford  to  the  episcopal  offi- 
cials access  to  the  imprisoned  Templars,  while  the  baillis  were 


*  Procfcs,  I.  28,  29,  41-5,  88. 


THE    TEMPLARS.  291 

instructed  to  send  to  Paris,  under  sure  guard,  all  Templars  desir- 
ing to  defend  their  Order.* 

February  3, 1310,  was  the  day  named  in  this  new  citation.  By 
the  5th  Templars  began  to  pour  in,  nearly  all  eager  to  defend 
their  Order.  They  accumulated  until  the  commission  was  embar- 
rassed how  to  deal  with  them,  and  finally,  on  March  28,  five  hun- 
dred and  forty-six  who  had  offered  to  defend  were  assembled  in 
the  garden  of  the  episcopal  palace,  where  the  commissioners  ex- 
plained to  them  what  was  proposed,  and  suggested  that  they 
should  nominate  six  or  eight  or  ten  of  their  number  to  act  as  pro- 
curators ;  they  would  not  again  have  an  opportunity  of  meeting, 
and  the  commission  would  proceed  on  the  31st,  but  the  procura- 
tors should  have  access  to  them  in  their  several  prisons,  and  should 
agree  with  them  as  to  what  defence  should  be  offered.  A  pro- 
miscuous crowd,  whose  differences  of  dialect  rendered  intercom- 
munication impossible,  abandoned  by  their  natural  leaders  and 
thus  suddenly  brought  together,  was  not  fitted  for  deliberation 
on  so  delicate  an  emergency.  Many  hesitated  about  acting  with- 
out orders  from  the  Master,  for  all  initiative  on  the  part  of  sub- 
ordinates was  strictly  forbidden  by  the  Rule.  The  commissioners 
seem  to  have  been  sincerely  desirous  of  getting  the  matter  into 
some  sort  of  shape,  and  finally,  on  the  31st,  they  ordered  their 
notaries  to  visit  the  houses  in  which  the  Templars  were  confined 
and  report  their  wishes  and  conclusions.  This  was  a  process 
requiring  time,  and  the  reports  of  the  notaries  after  making 
their  daily  rounds  are  pitiful  enough.  The  wretched  prisoners 
floundered  helplessly  when  called  upon  to  resolve  as  to  their 
action.  Most  of  them  declared  the  Order  to  be  pure  and  holy, 
but  knew  not  what  to  do  in  the  absence  of  their  superiors. 
There  was  a  general  clamor,  often  on  bended  knees,  for  readmis- 
sion  to  the  sacraments.  Many  begged  to  be  assured  that  when 
they  died  they  should  be  buried  in  consecrated  ground ;  others 
offered  to  pay  for  a  chaplain  out  of  the  miserable  allowance  doled 
to  them  ;  some  asked  that  the  allowance  be  increased,  others  that 
they  should  have  clothes  to  cover  their  nakedness.  They  were 
urgent  in  the  impossible  request  that  they  should  have  experts 
and  learned  men  to  advise  with  and  appear  for  them,  for  they 


*  Procfcs,  I.  47-53. 


292  POLITICAL    HERESY.  — THE    STATE. 

were  simple  and  illiterate,  chained  in  prison  and  unable  to  act ;  and 
they  further  begged  that  security  should  be  given  to  witnesses,  as 
all  who  had  confessed  were  threatened  with  burning  if  they  should 
retract.  A.  paper  presented  April  4  by  those  confined  in  the  house 
of  the  Abbot  of  Tiron  is  eloquent  in  its  suggestiveness  as  to  their 
treatment,  for  the  houses  in  which  they  were  quartered  had  appar- 
ently taken  them  on  speculation.  They  assert  the  purity  of  the 
Order  and  their  readiness  to  defend  it  as  well  as  men  can  who  are 
fettered  in  prison  and  pass  the  night  in  dark  fosses.  They  further 
complain  of  the  insufficiency  of  their  allowance  of  twelve  deniers 
a  day,  for  they  pay  three  deniers  each  per  day  for  their  beds ;  for 
hire  of  kitchen,  napery,  and  cloths,  two  sols  six  deniers  per  week ; 
two  sols  for  taking  off  and  replacing  their  fetters  when  they 
appear  before  the  commission ;  for  washing,  eighteen  deniers  a 
fortnight ;  wood  and  candles,  four  deniers  a  day,  and  ferriage  across 
from  iSotre  Dame,  sixteen  deniers.  It  is  evident  that  the  poor 
creatures  were  exploited  relentlessly." 

The  outcome  of  the  matter  was  that  on  April  7  nine  repre- 
sentatives presented  a  paper  in  the  name  of  all,  declaring  that 
without  authority  from  the  Master  and  Convent  they  could  not 
appoint  procurators,  but  they  offer  themselves  one  and  all  in 
defence  of  the  Order,  and  ask  to  be  present  at  the  council  or  wher- 
ever it  is  on  trial.  They  declare  the  charges  to  be  horrible  and 
impossible  lies  fabricated  by  apostates  and  fugitives  expelled  for 
crime  from  the  Order,  confirmed  by  torturing  those  who  uphold 
the  truth,  and  encouraging  liars  with  recompenses  and  great  prom- 
ises. It  is  wonderful,  they  say,  to  see  greater  faith  reposed  in 
those  corrupted  thus  by  worldly  advantage  than  in  those  who, 
like  the  martyrs  of  Christ,  have  died  in  torture  with  the  palm  of 
martyrdom,  and  in  the  living  who,  for  conscience'  sake,  have  suf- 
fered and  daily  suffer  in  their  dungeons  so  many  torments,  tribula- 
tions, and  miseries.  In  the  universal  terror  prevailing  they  pray 
that  when  the  brethren  are  examined  there  may  be  present  no 
laymen  or  others  whom  they  may  fear,  and  that  security  may  be 

*  Proces,  I.  103-51. — It  must  be  borne  in  mind  that  the  allowance  was  in  the 
fearfully  debased  currency  of  Philippe  le  Bel.  According  to  a  document  of  1318 
the  livre  Tournois  still  was  to  the  sterling  pound  as  1  to  4-J-  (Olim,  III.  1279). 

Other  Templars  subsequently  offered  to  defend  the  Order,  making  five  hun- 
dred and  seventy-three  up  to  May  2. 


THE    TEMPLARS.  293 

assured  them,  for  all  who  have  confessed  are  daily  threatened  with 
burning  if  they  retract.  In  reply  the  commissioners  disavowed 
responsibility  for  their  ill-usage,  and  promised  to  ask  that  they  be 
humanely  treated  in  accordance  with  the  orders  of  the  Cardinal 
of  Palestrina,  to  whom  they  had  been  committed  by  the  pope. 
The  Grand  Master,  they  added,  had  been  urged  to  defend  the 
Order,  but  had  declined,  and  claimed  that  he  was  reserved  for  the 
pope.* 

Having  thus  given  the  Templars  a  nominal  opportunity  for 
defence,  the  commissioners  proceeded  to  take  testimony,  appoint- 
ing four  of  the  representatives,  Renaud  de  Provins,  Preceptor  of 
Orleans,  Pierre  de  Boulogne,  procurator  of  the  Order  in  the  papal 
court,  and  Geoffroi  de  Chambonnet  and  Bertrand  de  Sartiges, 
knights,  to  be  present  at  the  swearing  of  the  witnesses,  and  to  do 
what  might  be  requisite  without  constituting  them  formal  defend- 
ers of  the  Order.  These  four  on  April  13  presented  another  paper 
in  which,  after  alluding  to  the  tortures  employed  to  extort  confes- 
sions, they  stated  it  to  be  a  notorious  fact  that  to  obtain  testimony 
from  Templars  sealed  royal  letters  had  been  given  them  promising 
them  liberty  and  large  pensions  for  life,  and  telling  them  that  the 
Order  was  permanently  abolished.  This  was  evidently  intended 
as  a  protest  to  pave  the  way  for  disabling  the  adverse  witnesses, 
which,  as  we  have  seen,  was  the  only  defence  in  the  inquisitorial 
process,  and  with  the  same  object  they  also  asked  for  the  names  of 
all  witnesses.  They  did  not  venture  to  ask  for  a  copy  of  the  evi- 
dence, but  they  earnestly  requested  that  it  should  be  kept  secret, 
to  avert  the  danger  that  might  otherwise  threaten  the  witnesses. 
Subject  to  the  interruption  of  the  Easter  solemnities,  testimony, 
mostly  adverse  to  the  Order,  continued  to  be  taken  up  to  May  9, 
from  witnesses  apparently  carefully  selected  for  the  purpose.  On 
Sunday,  May  10,  the  commissioners  were  suddenly  called  together, 
at  the  request  of  Renaud  de  Provins  and  his  colleagues,  to  receive 
the  startling  announcement  that  the  provincial  Council  of  Sens, 
which  had  been  hastily  assembled  at  Paris,  proposed  to  prosecute 
all  the  Templars  who  had  offered  to  defend  the  Order.  Most  of 
these  had  previously  confessed;  they  had  heroically  taken  their 
lives  in  their  hands  when,  by  asserting  the  purity  of  the  Order, 


*  Procfes,  I.  165-72. 


294:  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE    STATE. 

they  had  constructively  revoked  their  confessions.  The  four 
Templars  therefore  appealed  to  the  commissioners  for  protection, 
as  the  action  of  the  council  would  fatally  interfere  with  the  work 
in  hand;  they  demanded  apostoli,  and  that  their  persons  and 
rights  and  the  whole  Order  should  be  placed  under  the  guardian- 
ship of  the  Holy  See,  and  time  and  money  be  allowed  to  prosecute 
the  appeal.  They  further  asked  the  commissioners  to  notify  the 
Archbishop  of  Sens  to  take  no  action  while  the  present  examina- 
tion was  in  progress,  and  that  they  be  sent  before  him  with  one  or 
two  notaries  to  make  a  protest,  as  they  can  find  no  one  who  dares 
to  draw  up  such  an  instrument  for  them.  The  commissioners 
were  sorely  perplexed  and  debated  the  matter  until  evening,  when 
they  recalled  the  Templars  to  say  that  while  they  heartily  com- 
passionated them  they  could  do  nothing,  for  the  Archbishop  of 
Sens  and  the  council  were  acting  under  powers  delegated  by  the 
pope.* 

It  was  no  part  of  Philippe's  policy  to  allow  the  Order  any 
opportunity  to  be  heard.  The  sudden  rally  of  nearly  six  hundred 
members,  after  their  chiefs  had  been  skilfully  detached  from 
them,  and  their  preparations  for  defence  at  the  approaching  coun- 
cil promised  a  struggle  which  he  proceeded  to  crush  at  the  outset 
with  his  customary  unscrupulous  energy.  The  opportunity  was 
favorable,  for  after  long  effort  he  had  just  obtained  from  Clement 
the  archbishopric  of  Sens  (of  which  Paris  was  a  suffragan  see) 
for  a  youthful  creature  of  his  own,  Philippe  de  Marigny,  brother 
of  his  minister  Enguerrand,  who  took  possession  of  the  dignity 
only  on  April  5.  The  bull  Faciens  misericordiam  had  prescribed 
that,  after  the  bishops  had  completed  their  inquests,  provincial 
councils  were  to  be  called  to  sit  in  judgment  on  the  individual 
brethren.  In  pursuance  of  this,  the  king  through  his  archbishops 
was  master  of  the  situation.  Provincial  councils  were  suddenly 
called,  that  for  Sens  to  meet  at  Paris,  for  Reims  at  Senlis,  for 
Xormandy  at  Pont  de  l'Arche,  and  for  Xarbonne  at  Carcassonne, 
and  a  demonstration  was  organized  which  should  paralyze  at  once 
and  forever  all  thought  of  further  opposition  to  his  will.  No  time 
was  wasted  in  any  pretence  of  judicial  proceedings,  for  the  canon 
law  provided  that  relapsed  heretics  were  to  be  condemned  with- 


*  Procfcs,  I.  173,  201-4,  259-64. 


THE    TEMPLARS. 


295 


out  a  hearing.  On  the  11th  the  Council  of  Sens  was  opened  at 
Paris.  On  the  12th,  while  the  commissioners  were  engaged  in 
taking  testimony,  word  was  brought  them  that  fifty-four  of  those 
who  had  offered  to  defend  the  Order  had  been  condemned  as  re- 
lapsed heretics  for  retracting  their  confessions,  and  were  to  be 
burned  that  day.  Hastily  they  sent  to  the  council  Philippe  de 
Yohet,  the  papal  custodian  of  the  Templars,  and  Amis,  Archdeacon 
of  Orleans,  to  ask  for  delay.  Yohet,  they  said,  and  many  others 
asserted  that  the  Templars  who  died  in  prison  declared  on  peril 
of  their  souls  that  the  crimes  alleged  were  false;  Eenaud  de 
Provins  and  his  colleagues  had  appealed  before  them  from  the 
council ;  if  the  proposed  executions  took  place  the  functions  of  the 
commission  would  be  impeded,  for  the  witnesses  that  day  and  the 
day  before  were  crazed  with  terror  and  wholly  unfit  to  give  evi- 
dence. The  envoys  hurried  to  the  council-hall,  where  they  were 
treated  with  contempt  and  told  that  it  was  impossible  that  the 
commission  could  have  sent  such  a  message.  The  fifty-four 
martyrs  were  piled  in  wagons  and  carried  to  the  fields  near  the 
convent  of  S.  Antoine,  where  they  were  slowly  tortured  to  death 
with  fire,  refusing  all  offers  of  pardon  for  confession,  and  manifest- 
ing a  constancy  which,  as  a  contemporary  tells  us,  placed  their 
souls  in  great  peril  of  damnation,  for  it  led  the  people  into  the 
error  of  believing  them  innocent.  The  council  continued  its  Avork, 
and  a  few  days  later  burned  four  more  Templars,  so  that  if  there 
were  any  who  still  proposed  to  defend  the  Order  they  might 
recognize  what  would  be  their  fate.  It  ordered  the  bones  of  Jean 
de  Tourne,  former  treasurer  of  the  Temple,  to  be  exhumed  and 
burned;  those  who  confessed  and  adhered  to  their  confessions 
were  reconciled  to  the  Church  and  liberated ;  those  who  persisted 
in  refusing  to  confess  were  condemned  to  perpetual  prison.  This 
was  rather  more  humane  than  the  regular  inquisitorial  practice, 
but  it  suited  the  royal  policy  of  the  moment.  A  few  weeks  later, 
at  Senlis,  the  Council  of  Reims  burned  nine  more ;  at  Pont  de 
l'Arche  three  were  burned,  and  a  number  at  Carcassonne.* 


*  Fisquet,  La  France  Pontificate,  Sens,  p.  68. — Proces,  I.  274-5,  281, — Contin. 
Chron.G.  de  Fracheto  (Bouquet,  XXI.  33).— Chron.  Anon.  (Bouquet,  XXI.  140).— 
Amalr.  Auger.  Hist.  Pontif.  (Eccard  II.  1810). — Trithem.  Chron.  Hirsaug.  ann. 
1307.— Bern.  Guidon.  Flor.  Chron.  (Bouquet,  XXI.  719).— Joann.  de  S.  Victor 


296  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE    STATE. 

This  ferocious  expedient  accomplished  its  purpose.  When,  on 
the  day  after  the  executions  at  Paris,  May  13,  the  commission 
opened  its  session,  the  first  witness,  Aimery  de  Villiers,  threw 
himself  on  his  knees,  pale  and  desperately  frightened  ;  beating  his 
breast  and  stretching  forth  his  hands  to  the  altar,  he  invoked  sud- 
den death  and  perdition  to  body  and  soul  if  he  lied.  He  declared 
that  all  the  crimes  imputed  to  the  Order  were  false,  although  he 
had,  under  torture,  confessed  to  some  of  them.  When  he  had  yes- 
terday seen  his  fifty -four  brethren  carried  in  wagons  to  be  burned, 
and  heard  that  they  had  been  burned,  he  felt  that  he  could  not 
endure  it  and  would  confess  to  the  commissioners  or  to  any  one 
else  whatever  might  be  required  of  him,  even  that  he  had  slain  the 
Lord.  In  conclusion  he  adjured  the  commissioners  and  the  nota- 
ries not  to  reveal  what  he  had  said  to  his  jailers,  or  to  the  royal 
officials,  for  he  would  be  burned  like  the  fifty-four.  Then  a  pre- 
vious witness,  Jean  Bert-rand,  came  before  the  commission  to  sup- 
plicate that  his  deposition  be  kept  secret  on  account  of  the  danger 
impending  over  him.  Seeing  all  this,  the  commission  felt  that 
during  this  general  terror  it  would  be  wise  to  suspend  its  sittings, 
and  it  did  so.  It  met  again  on  the  18th  to  reclaim  fruitlessly  from 
the  Archbishop  of  Sens,  Penaud  de  Provins,  who  had  been  put  on 
trial  before  the  council.  Pierre  de  Boulogne  was  likewise  snatched 
away  and  could  not  be  obtained  again.  Many  of  the  Templars 
who  had  offered  to  defend  the  Order  made  haste  to  withdraw,  and 
all  effort  to  provide  for  it  an  organized  hearing  before  the  Council 
of  Yienne  was  perforce  abandoned.  Whether  Clement  was  privy 
to  this  high-handed  interruption  of  the  functions  of  his  commission 
is  perhaps  doubtful,  but  he  did  nothing  to  rehabilitate  it,  and  his 
quiescence  rendered  him  an  accomplice.     He  had  only  succeeded 


(Bouquet,  XXL  654-55). — Contin.  Guill.  Nangiac.  ann.  1310. — Grandes  Chro- 
niques,V.  187.— Chron.  Cornel.  Zantfliet  ann.  1310  (Martene  Ampl.  Coll.  V.  158).— 
Bessin,  Concil.  Rotomagens.  p.  iii. — Raynouard,  pp.  118-20. 

It  was  not  all  bishops  who  were  ready  to  accept  the  inquisitorial  doctrine 
that  revocation  of  confession  was  equivalent  to  relapse.  The  question  was  dis- 
cussed in  the  Council  of  Narbonne  and  decided  in  the  negative. — Raynouard,  p. 
106. 

The  number  of  those  who  refused  to  confess  was  not  insignificant.  Some 
papers  respecting  the  expenses  of  detention  of  Templars  at  Senlis  describe  sixty- 
five  as  not  reconciled,  who  therefore  cannot  have  confessed. — lb.  p.  107. 


THE    TEMPLARS.  297 

in  betraying  to  a  fiery  death  the  luckless  wretches  whom  he  had 
tempted  to  come  forward.* 

On  April  4,  by  the  bull  Alma  Mater,  Clement  had  postponed 
the  Council  of  Yienne  from  October,  1310,  until  October,  1311,  in 
consequence  of  the  inquisition  against  the  Templars  requiring  more 
time  than  had  been  expected.  There  was,  therefore,  no  necessity 
for  haste  on  the  part  of  the  commission,  and  it  adjourned  until 
November  3.  Its  members  were  long  in  getting  together,  and  it 
did  not  resume  its  sessions  until  December  17.  Then  Guillaume 
de  Chambonnet  and  Bertrand  de  Sartiges  were  brought  before  it, 
when  they  protested  that  they  could  not  act  for  the  Order  without 
the  aid  of  Renaud  de  Provins  and  Pierre  de  Boulogne.  These,  the 
commission  informed  them,  had  solemnly  renounced  the  defence 
of  the  Order,  had  returned  to  their  first  confessions,  and  had  been 
condemned  to  perpetual  imprisonment  by  the  Council  of  Sens, 
after  which  Pierre  had  broken  jail  and  fled.  The  two  knights 
were  offered  permission  to  be  present  at  the  swearing  of  the  wit- 
nesses, with  opportunity  to  file  exceptions,  but  they  declared  them- 
selves unfitted  for  the  task  and  retired.  Thus  all  pretence  of 
affording  the  Order  a  chance  to  be  heard  was  abandoned,  and  the 
subsequent  proceedings  of  the  commission  became  merely  an  ex 
parte  accumulation  of  adverse  testimony.  It  sat  until  June,  in- 
dustriously hearing  the  witnesses  brought  before  it ;  but  as  those 
were  selected  by  Philippe  de  Yohet  and  Jean  de  Jamville,  care 
was  evidently  taken  as  to  the  character  of  the  evidence  that  should 
reach  it.  Most  of  the  witnesses,  in  fact,  had  been  reconciled  to 
the  Church  through  confession,  abjuration,  and  absolution,  and  no 
longer  belonged  to  the  Order  which  they  had  abandoned  to  its 
fate.  Among  the  large  number  of  Templars  who  had  refused  to 
confess,  only  a  few,  and  these  apparently  by  accident,  were  allowed 
to  appear  before  it.  There  were  also  a  few  who  dared  to  retract 
what  they  had  stated  before  the  bishops,  but  with  these  slender  ex- 
ceptions all  the  evidence  was  adverse  to  the  Order.  In  fact,  it 
frequently  happened  that  witnesses  were  sworn  who  never  reap- 
peared to  give  their  testimony,  and  that  this  was  not  accidental  is 
rendered  probable  by  the  fact  that  Renaud  de  Provins  was  one  of 
these.     Finally,  on  June  5,  the  commission  closed  its  labors  and 


*  Procfes,  I.  275-83. 


298  POLITICAL   HERESY.  — THE    STATE. 

transmitted  without  comment  to  Clement  its  records  as  part  of 
the  material  to  guide  the  judgment  of  the  assembled  Church  at 
the  Council  of  Yienne.* 

Before  proceeding  to  the  last  scene  of  the  drama  at  Yienne,  it 
is  necessary  to  consider  briefly  the  action  taken  with  the  Templars 
outside  of  France.  In  England,  Edward  II.,  on  October  30, 1307, 
replied  to  Philippe's  announcement  of  October  16,  to  the  effect 
that  he  and  his  council  have  given  the  most  earnest  attention  to 
the  matter ;  it  has  caused  the  greatest  astonishment,  and  is  sc 
abominable  as  to  be  well-nigh  incredible,  and,  to  obtain  further  in- 
formation, he  had  sent  for  his  Seneschal  of  Agen.  So  strong  were 
his  convictions  and  so  earnest  his  desire  to  protect  the  threatened 
Order  that  on  December  4  he  wrote  to  the  Kings  of  Portugal,  Cas- 
tile, Aragon,  and  Xaples  that  the  accusations  must  proceed  from 
cupidity  and  envy,  and  begging  them  to  shut  their  ears  to  detrac- 
tion and  do  nothing  without  deliberation,  so  that  an  Order  so  dis- 
tinguished for  purity  and  honor  should  not  be  molested  until 
legitimately  convicted.  Xot  content  with  this,  on  the  10th  he  re- 
plied to  Clement  that  the  reputation  of  the  Templars  in  England 
for  purity  and  faith  is  such  that  he  cannot,  without  further  proof, 
believe  the  terrible  rumors  about  them,  and  he  begs  the  pope  to 
resist  the  calumnies  of  envious  and  wicked  men.  In  a  few  days, 
however,  he  received  Clement's  bull  of  ^November  22,  and  could 
no  longer  doubt  the  facts  asserted  by  the  head  of  Christendom. 
He  hastened  to  obey  its  commands,  and  on  the  15th  elaborate 
orders  were  already  prepared  and  sent  out  to  all  the  sheriffs  in 
England,  with  minute  instructions  to  capture  all  the  Templars  on 
January  10, 1308,  including  directions  as  to  the  sequestration  and 
disposition  of  their  property,  and  this  was  followed  on  the  20th  by 

*  Harduin.  VII.  1334.— Proces,  I.  286-7 :  II.  3-4,  269-73.— Raynouard,  pp. 
254-6. — A  notarial  attestation  describes  the  voluminous  record  as  consisting  of 
219  folios  with  forty  lines  to  the  page,  equivalent  to  17,520  lines. 

How  close  a  watch  was  kept  on  the  witnesses  is  seen  in  the  case  of  three, 
Martin  de  Mont  Richard,  Jean  Durand,  and  Jean  de  Ruaus,  who,  on  March  22, 
asserted  that  they  knew  of  no  evil  in  the  Order.  Two  days  later  they  are 
brought  back  to  say  that  they  had  lied  through  folly.  When  before  their 
bishops  they  had  confessed  to  renouncing  and  spitting,  and  it  was  true.  What 
persuasions  were  applied  to  them  during  the  interval  no  one  can  tell. — Proces, 
II.  88-96,  107-9. 


THE    TEMPLARS.  299 

similar  commands  to  the  English  authorities  in  Ireland,  Scotland, 
and  Wales.  Possibly  Edward's  impending  voyage  to  Boulogne  to 
marry  Isabella,  the  daughter  of  Philippe  le  Bel,  may  have  had 
something  to  do  with  his  sudden  change  of  purpose.* 

The  seizure  was  made  accordingly,  and  the  Templars  were  kept 
in  honorable  durance,  not  in  prison,  awaiting  papal  action ;  for 
there  seems  to  have  been  no  disposition  on  the  part  either  of  Church 
or  State  to  take  the  initiative.  The  delay  was  long,  for  though 
commissions  were  issued  August  12, 1308,  to  the  papal  inquisitors, 
Sicard  de  Lavaur  and  the  Abbot  of  Lagny,  they  did  not  start  until 
September,  1309,  and  on  the  13th  of  that  month  the  royal  safe- 
conducts  issued  for  them  show  their  arrival  in  England.  Then  in- 
structions were  sent  out  to  arrest  all  Templars  not  yet  seized  and 
gather  them  together  in  London,  Lincoln,  and  York,  for  the  ex- 
aminations to  be  held,  and  the  bishops  of  those  sees  were  strictly 
charged  to  be  present  throughout.  Similar  orders  were  sent  to 
Ireland  and  Scotland,  where  the  inquisitors  appointed  delegates  to 
attend  to  the  matter.  It  apparently  was  not  easy  to  get  the  offi- 
cials to  do  their  duty,  for  December  14  instructions  were  required 
to  all  the  sheriffs  to  seize  the  Templars  who  were  wandering  in 
secular  habits  throughout  the  land,  and  in  the  following  March 
and  again  in  January,  1311,  the  Sheriff  of  York  was  scolded  for  al- 
lowing those  in  his  custody  to  wander  abroad.  Popular  sympathy 
evidently  was  with  the  inculpated  brethren.f 

At  length,  on  October  20, 1309,  the  papal  inquisitors  and  the 
Bishop  of  London  sat  in  the  episcopal  palace  to  examine  the  Tem- 
plars collected  in  London.  Interrogated  singly  on  all  the  numer- 
ous articles  of  accusation,  they  all  asserted  the  innocence  of  the 
Order.  Outside  witnesses  were  called  in  who  mostly  declared 
their  belief  to  the  same  effect,  though  some  gave  expression  to 
the  vague  popular  rumors  and  scandalous  stories  suggested  by  the 
secrecy  of  proceedings  within  the  Order.  The  inquisitors  were 
nonplussed.  They  had  come  to  a  country  whose  laws  did  not  rec- 
ognize the  use  of  torture,  and  without  it  they  were  powerless  to 

*  Rymer,  Foedera,  III.  18,  34-7,43-6. 

t  Regest.  Clement.  PP.  V.  T.  III.  pp.  316,  477.— Rymer,  Feed.  III.  168-9, 173, 
179-80,  182,  195,  203-4,  244. 

The  pay  assigned  to  the  inquisitors  was  three  florins  each  per  diem,  to  be 
assessed  on  the  Templar  property  (Regest.  ubi  sup.). 


300  POLITICAL   HERESY.— THE   STATE. 

accomplish  the  work  for  which  they  had  been  sent.  In  their  dis- 
gust they  finally  applied  to  the  king,  and  on  December  15  they 
obtained  from  him  an  order  to  the  custodians  of  the  prisoners 
to  permit  the  inquisitors  and  episcopal  ordinaries  to  do  with  the 
bodies  of  the  Templars  what  they  pleased, "  in  accordance  with 
ecclesiastical  law" — ecclesiastical  law,  by  the  hideous  perversion  of 
the  times,  having  come  to  mean  the  worst  of  abuses,  from  which 
secular  law  still  shrank.  Either  the  jailers  or  the  episcopal  offi- 
cials interposed  difficulties,  for  the  mandate  was  repeated  March 
1, 1310,  and  again  March  8,  with  instructions  to  report  the  cause 
if  the  previous  one  had  not  been  obeyed.  Still  no  evidence  worth 
the  trouble  was  gained,  though  the  examinations  were  prolonged 
through  the  winter  and  spring  until  May  24,  when  three  captured 
fugitives  were  induced  by  means  easily  guessed  to  confess  what  was 
wanted,  of  which  use  was  made  to  the  utmost.  At  length  Clement 
grew  impatient  under  this  lack  of  result.  On  August  6  he  wrote 
to  Edward  that  it  was  reported  that  he  had  prohibited  the  use  of 
torture  as  contrary  to  the  laws  of  the  kingdom,  and  that  the  in- 
quisitors were  thus  powerless  to  extract  confessions.  2so  law  or 
usage,  he  said,  could  be  permitted  to  override  the  canons  provided 
for  such  cases,  and  Edward's  counsellors  and  officials  who  were 
guilty  of  thus  impeding  the  Inquisition  were  liable  to  the  penal- 
ties provided  for  that  serious  offence,  while  the  king  himself  was 
warned  to  consider  whether  his  position  comported  with  his  honor 
and  safetv,  and  was  offered  remission  of  his  sins  if  he  would  with- 
draw  from  it — perhaps  the  most  suggestive  sale  of  an  indulgence 
on  record.  Similar  letters  at  the  same  time  were  sent  to  all  the 
bishops  of  England,  who  were  scolded  for  not  having  already  re- 
moved the  impediment,  as  they  were  in  duty  bound  to  do.  Under 
this  impulsion  Edward.  August  20,  again  ordered  that  the  bishops 
and  inquisitors  should  be  allowed  to  employ  ecclesiastical  law,  and 
this  was  repeated  October  6  and  23,  Xovember  22,  and  April  28, 
1311 — in  the  last  instances  the  word  torture  being  used,  and  in  all 
of  them  the  king  being  careful  to  explain  that  what  he  does  is 
through  reverence  for  the  Holy  See.  August  18, 1311,  similar  in- 
structions were  sent  to  the  Sheriff  of  York.* 


*  Wilkins.  Coucil.  Mag.   Brit.  II.  329-92.  —  Rymer,  III.   195,  202-3,  224-5, 
227-32,  2G0,  274.— Regest.  Clement.  PP.  V.  T.  V.  pp.  455-7. 


THE    TEMPLARS.  301 

Thus  for  once  the  papal  Inquisition  founjd  a  foothold  in  Eng- 
land, but  apparently  its  methods  were  too  repugnant  to  the  spirit  of 
the  nation  to  be  rewarded  with  complete  success.  In  spite  of  ex- 
aminations prolonged  for  more  than  eighteen  months,  the  Tem- 
plars could  not  be  convicted.  The  most  that  could  be  accomplished 
was,  that  in  provincial  councils  held  in  London  and  York  in  the 
spring  and  summer  of  1311,  they  were  brought  to  admit  that  they 
were  so  defamed  for  heresy  that  they  could  not  furnish  the  purga- 
tion required  by  law ;  they  therefore  asked  for  mercy  and  prom- 
ised to  perform  what  penance  might  be  enjoined  on  them.  Some 
of  them,  moreover,  submitted  to  a  form  of  abjuration.  The  coun- 
cils ordered  them  scattered  among  different  monasteries  to  perform 
certain  penance  until  the  Holy  See  should  decide  as  to  the  future 
of  the  Order.  This  was  the  final  disposition  of  the  Templars  in 
England.  A  liberal  provision  of  fourpence  a  day  was  made  for 
their  support,  while  two  shillings  was  assigned  to  William  de  la 
More,  the  Master  of  England,  and  on  his  death  it  was  continued  to 
Humbert  Blanc,  the  Preceptor  of  Auvergne,  who,  fortunately  for 
himself,  was  in  England  at  the  time  of  arrest,  and  was  caught 
there.  This  shows  that  they  were  not  regarded  as  criminals,  and 
the  testimony  of  Walsingham  is  that  in  the  monasteries  to  which 
they  were  assigned  they  comported  themselves  piously  and  right- 
eously in  every  respect.  In  Ireland  and  Scotland  their  examina- 
tions failed  to  procure  any  proof  against  the  Order,  save  the  vague 
conjectures  and  stories  of  outside  witnesses  industriously  gathered 
together.* 

In  Lorraine,  as  soon  as  news  came  of  the  seizure  in  Erance,  the 
Preceptor  of  Yillencourt  ordered  the  brethren  under  him  to  shave 
and  abandon  their  mantles,  which  was  virtually  releasing  them 
from  the  Order.     Duke  Thiebault  followed  the  exterminating  pol- 


*  Wilkins,  II.  314,  373-83,  394-400.— Rymer,  III.  295,  327,  334,  349,  472-3.— 
Proces  des  Templiers,  II.  130.— D'Argentre"   I.  I.  280. 

That  the  allowance  for  the  Templars  was  liberal  is  shown  by  that  made  for 
the  Bishop  of  Glasgow  when  confined,  in  1312,  in  the  Castle  of  Porchester.  His 
per  diem  was  6d.,  that  for  his  valet  3d.,  for  his  chaplain  five  farthings,  and  the  same 
for  his  servant  (Rymer,  III.  363).  The  wages  of  the  janitor  of  the  Temple  in  Lon- 
don was  2d.,  by  a  charter  of  Edward  II.  in  1314  (Wilcke,  II.  498). 


302  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE    STATE. 

icy  of  Philippe  with  complete  success.  A  large  number  of  the 
Templars  were  burned,  and  he  managed  to  secure  most  of  their 
property.* 

In  Germany  our  knowledge  of  what  took  place  is  somewhat 
fragmentary.  The  Teutonic  Order  afforded  a  career  for  the  Ger- 
man chivalry,  and  the  Templars  were  by  no  means  so  numerous 
as  in  France,  their  fate  was  not  so  dramatic,  and  it  attracted  com- 
paratively little  attention  from  the  chroniclers.  One  annalist  in- 
forms us  that  they  were  destroyed  with  the  assent  of  the  Emperor 
Henry  on  account  of  their  collusion  with  the  Saracens  in  Pales- 
tine and  Egypt,  and  their  preparation  for  establishing  a  new  em- 
pire for  themselves  among  the  Christians,  which  shows  how  little 
impression  on  the  popular  mind  was  made  by  the  assertion  of 
their  heresies.  For  the  most  part,  indeed,  the  action  taken  de- 
pended upon  the  personal  views  of  the  princely  prelates  who  pre- 
sided over  the  great  archbishoprics.  Burchard  III.  of  Magdeburg 
was  the  first  to  act.  Obliged  to  visit  the  papal  court  in  1307  to 
obtain  the  pallium,  he  returned  in  May,  1308,  with  orders  to  seize 
all  the  Templars  in  his  province;  and  as  he  was  already  hostile  to 
them,  he  obeyed  with  alacrity.  There  were  but  four  houses  in  his 
territories  :  on  these  and  their  occupants  he  laid  his  hands,  leading 
to  a  long  series  of  obscure  quarrels,  in  which  he  incurred  excom- 
munication from  the  Bishop  of  Halberstadt,  which  Clement  hast- 
ened to  remove  ;  by  burning  some  of  the  more  obstinate  brethren, 
moreover,  he  involved  himself  in  war  with  their  kindred,  in  which 
he  fared  badly.  As  late  as  1318  the  Hospitallers  are  found  com- 
plaining to  John  XXII.  that  Templars  were  still  in  possession  of 
the  greater  portion  of  their  property,  f 

The  bull  Faciens  misericordiam  of  August,  1308,  sent  to  the 
German  prelates,  reserved,  with  Clement's  usual  policy,  the  Grand 
Preceptor  of  Germany  for  papal  judgment.  With  the  exception 
of  Magdeburg,  its  instructions  for  active  measures  received  slack 

*  Proces,  II.  267.— Calmet,  Hist.  Gen.  de  Lorraine,  II.  436. 

t  Gassari  Armal.  Augstburgens.  arm.  1312  (Menken.  Scnptt.  T.  1473). — Tor- 
quati  Series  Pontif.  Magdeburg,  ann.  1307-8  (Menken.  III.  390). — Raynald.  ann. 
1310,  No.  40.— Cbron.  Episc.  Merseburgens.  c.  xxvii.  §  3  (Ludewig  IV.  408). — 
Bothonis  Chron.  ann.  1311  (Leibnitz  III.  374).— Wilcke.  II.  242,  246,  324-5.— 
Regest.  Clement.  PP.  V.  T.  V.  p.  271.— Schmidt,  Pabstliche  Urkunden  und  Re- 
gesten,  Halle,  1886,  p.  77.— Havemann,  p.  333. 


THE    TEMPLARS.  393 

obedience.  It  was  not  to  much  purpose  that,  on  December  30  of 
the  same  year,  he  wrote  to  the  Duke  of  Austria  to  arrest  all  the 
Templars  in  his  dominions,  and  commissioned  the  Ordinaries  of 
Mainz,  Treves,  Cologne,  Magdeburg,  Strassburg,  and  Constance  as 
special  inquisitors  within  their  several  dioceses,  while  he  sent  the 
Abbot  of  Crudacio  as  inquisitor  for  the  rest  of  Germany,  ordering 
the  prelates  to  pay  him  five  gold  florins  a  day.  It  was  not  until 
1310  that  the  great  archbishops  could  be  got  to  work,  and  then  the 
results  were  disappointing.  Treves  and  Cologne,  in  fact,  made 
over  to  Burchard  of  Magdeburg,  in  1310,  their  authority  as  com- 
missioners for  the  seizure  of  the  Templar  lands,  and  Clement  con- 
firmed this  with  instructions  to  proceed  with  vigor.  As  regards 
the  persons  of  the  Templars,  at  Treves  an  inquest  was  held  in 
which  seventeen  witnesses  were  heard,  including  three  Templars, 
and  resulting  in  their  acquittal.  At  Mainz  the  Archbishop  Peter, 
who  had  incurred  Clement's  displeasure  by  transferring  to  his  suf- 
fragans his  powers  as  commissioner  over  the  Templar  property, 
was  at  length  forced  to  call  a  provincial  council,  May  11,  1310. 
Suddenly  and  unbidden  there  entered  the  Wild-  and  Eheingraf, 
Hugo  of  Salm,  Commander  of  Grumbach,  with  twenty  knights 
fully  armed.  There  were  fears  of  violence,  but  the  archbishop 
asked  Hugo  what  he  had  to  say :  the  Templar  asserted  the  inno- 
cence of  the  Order ;  those  who  had  been  burned  had  steadfastly 
denied  the  charges,  and  their  truth  had  been  prcved  by  the  crosses 
on  their  mantles  remaining  unburned — a  miracle  popularly  believed, 
which  had  much  influence  on  public  opinion.  He  concluded  by 
appealing  to  the  future  pope  and  the  whole  Church,  and  the  arch- 
bishop, to  escape  a  tumult,  admitted  the  protest.  Clement,  on 
hearing  of  these  proceedings,  ordered  the  council  to  be  reassembled 
and  to  do  its  work.  He  was  obeved.  The  Wildoraf  Frederic  of 
Salm,  brother  of  Hugo  and  Master  of  the  Ehine-province,  offered 
to  undergo  the  red-hot  iron  ordeal,  but  it  was  unnecessary.  Forty- 
nine  witnesses,  of  whom  thirty-seven  were  Templars,  were  exam- 
ined, and  all  swore  to  the  innocence  of  the  Order.  The  twelve 
non-Templars,  who  were  personages  of  distinction,  were  emphatic 
in  their  declarations  in  its  favor.  Among  others,  the  Archpriest 
John  testified  that  in  a  time  of  scarcity,  when  the  measure  of  corn 
rose  from  three  sols  to  thirty-three,  the  commandery  at  Mostaire 
fed  a  thousand  persons  a  day.     The  result  was  a  verdict  of  acquit- 


304:  POLITICAL    HERESY— THE    STATE. 

tal,  which  was  so  displeasing  to  the  pope  that  he  ordered  Burchard 
of  Magdeburg  to  take  the  matter  in  hand  and  bring  it  to  a  more 
satisfactory  conclusion.  Burchard  seems  to  have  eagerly  obeyed, 
but  the  results  have  not  reached  us.  Archbishop  Peter  continued 
to  hope  for  some  adjustment,  and  when,  after  the  Council  of 
Vienne,  he  was  forced  to  hand  over  the  Templar  property  to  the 
Hospitallers,  he  required  the  latter  to  execute  an  agreement  to  re- 
turn the  manor  of  Topfstadt  if  the  pope  should  restore  the  Order.* 

In  Italy  the  Templars  were  not  numerous,  and  the  pope  had 
better  control  over  the  machinery  for  their  destruction.  In  Xa- 
ples  the  appeal  of  Edward  II.  was  in  vain.  The  Angevine  dynasty 
was  too  closely  allied  to  the  papacy  to  hesitate,  and  when  a  copy 
of  the  bull  Pastorali8  jprceeminentice,  of  November  21,  1307,  was 
addressed  to  Kobert,  Duke  of  Calabria,  son  of  Charles  II.,  there 
was  no  hesitation  in  obedience.  Orders  were  speedily  sent  out  to 
all  the  provinces  under  the  Neapolitan  crown  to  arrest  the  Tem- 
plars and  sequestrate  their  property.  Philip,  Duke  of  Achaia  and 
Romania,  the  voungest  son  of  Charles,  was  forthwith  commanded 
to  carry  out  the  papal  instructions  in  all  the  possessions  in  the 
Levant.  January  3,  1308,  the  officials  in  Provence  and  Forcal- 
quier  were  instructed  to  make  the  seizure  January  23.  The  Order 
was  numerous  in  those  districts,  but  the  members  must  have  mostly 
fled,  for  only  forty-eight  were  arrested,  who  are  said  to  have  been 
tried  and  executed,  but  a  document  of  1318  shows  that  Albert  de 
Blacas,  Preceptor  of  Aix  and  St.  Maurice,  who  had  been  impris- 
oned in  1308,  was  then  still  enjoying  the  Commandery  of  St. 
Maurice,  with  consent  of  the  Hospitallers.  The  Templar  mova- 
bles were  divided  between  the  pope  and  king,  and  the  landed  pos- 
sessions were  made  over  to  the  Hospital.  In  the  kingdom  of  Na- 
ples itself,  some  fragmentary  reports  of  the  papal  commission  sent 


*  Harduin.  VII.  1353.— Regest.  Clement.  PP.  V.  T.  IV.  pp  3-4 ;  T.  V.  p.  272. 
— Du  Pay,  pp.  62-3,  130-1.— Schmidt,  Pabstliche  Urkunden,  p.  77.— Raynald. 
ann.  1310,  No.  40. — Raynouard,  pp.  127,  270.— Jo.  Latomi  Cat.  Arcbiepp.  Moguntt. 
(Menken.  III.  526).— H.  Mutii  Chron.  Lib.  xxn.  ann.  1311.— Wilcke,  II.  243, 
246,  325,  339.— Schottmiiller,  I.  445-6. 

Even  Raynaldus  (ann.  1307,  No.  12)  alludes  to  the  incombustibility  of  the 
Templars'  crosses  as  an  evidence  in  their  favor. 


THE    TEMPLARS.  305 

in  1310  to  obtain  evidence  against  the  Order  as  a  whole  and  against 
the  Grand  Preceptor  of  Apulia,  Oddo  de  Yaldric,  show  that  no  ob- 
stacle was  thrown  in  the  way  of  the  inquisitors  in  obtaining  by 
the  customary  methods  the  kind  of  testimony  desired.  The  same 
may  be  said  of  Sicily,  where,  as  we  have  seen,  Frederic  of  Aragon 
had  admitted  the  Inquisition  in  1304.* 

In  the  States  of  the  Church  we  have  somewhat  fuller  accounts 
of  the  later  proceedings.     Although  we  know  nothing  of  what 
was  done  at  the  time  of  arrest,  there  can  be  no  doubt  that  in  a 
territory  subjected  directly  to  Clement  his  bull  of  November  22, 
1307,  was  strictly  obeyed;  that  all  members  of  the  Order  w^ere 
seized  and  that  appropriate  means  were  employed  to  secure  con- 
fessions.    When  the  papal  commission  was  sent  to  Paris  to  afford 
the  Order  an  opportunity  to  prepare  its  defence  at  the  Council  of 
Yienne,  similar  commissions,  armed  with  inquisitorial    powers, 
were  despatched  elsewhere,  and  the  report  of  Giacomo,  Bishop  of 
Sutri,  and  Master  Pandolfo  di  Sabello,  who  were  commissioned  in 
that  capacity  in  the  Patrimony  of  St.  Peter,  although  unfortu- 
nately not  complete,  gives  us  an  insight  into  the  real  object  which 
underlay  the  ostensible  purpose  of  these  commissions.    In  October, 
1309,  the  inquisitors  commenced  at  Pome,  where  no  one  appeared 
before  them,  although  they  summoned  not  only  members  of  the 
Order,  but  every  one  who  had  anything  to  say  about  it.     In  De- 
cember they  wrent  to  Yiterbo,  where  five  Templars  lay  in  prison, 
who  declined  to  appear  and  defend  the  Order.     In  January,  1310, 
they  proceeded   to  Spoleto  without  finding  either  Templars  or 
other  witnesses.     In  February  they  moved  to  Assisi,  where  they 
adopted  the  form  of  ordering  all  Templars  and  their  fautors  to  be 
brought  before  them,  and  this  they  repeated  in  March  at  Gubbio, 
but  in  both  places  without  result.     In  April,  at  Aquila,  they  sum- 
moned witnesses  to  ascertain  whether  the  Templars  had  any 
churches  in  the  Abruzzi,  but  not  even  the  preceptor  of  the  Hos- 
pitallers could  give  them  any  information.     All  the  Franciscans  of 
the  place  were  then  assembled,  but  they  knew  nothing  to  the  dis- 
credit of  the  Order.     A  few  da}Ts  later,  at  Penna,  they  adopted  a 


*  Mag.  Bull.  Rom.  IX.  131-2.  — Archivio  di   Napoli,  MSS.  Chioccarello,  T. 
VIII.— Du  Puy,  pp.  63-4,  87,  222-6.— Raynouard,  pp.  200,  279-84.—  Schottmul- 
ler,  II.  108  sqq. 
III.— 20 


300  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE    STATE. 

new  formula  by  inviting  all  Templars  and  others  who  desired  to 
defend  the  Order  to  appear  before  them.  Here  two  Templars 
were  found,  who  were  personally  summoned  repeatedly,  but  they 
refused,  saying  that  they  would  not  defend  the  Order.  One  of 
them,  Walter  of  Xaples,  was  excused,  owing  to  doubts  as  to  his 
being  a  Templar,  but  the  other,  named  Cecco,  was  brought  before 
the  inquisitors  and  told  them  of  an  idol  kept  for  worship  in  the 
treasure-chamber  of  a  preceptory  in  Apulia,  In  May,  at  Chieti, 
they  succeeded  in  getting  hold  of  another  Templar,  who  confessed 
to  renouncing  Christ,  idol-worship,  and  other  of  the  charges.  By 
May  23  they  were  back  in  Home  issuing  citations,  but  again  with- 
out result.  The  following  week  they  were  back  at  Yiterbo,  re- 
solved to  procure  some  evidence  from  the  five  captives  imprisoned 
there,  but  the  latter  again  sent  word  that  none  of  them  wished  to 
appear  before  the  inquisitors  or  to  defend  the  Order.  Five  times 
in  all  they  were  summoned  and  five  times  they  refused,  but  the  in- 
quisitors were  not  to  be  balked. '  Four  of  the  prisoners  were  brought 
forward,  and  by  means  which  can  readily  be  guessed  were  induced 
to  talk.  From  the  7th  of  June  to  the  19th,  the  inquisitors  were 
employed  in  receiving  their  depositions  as  to  renouncing  Christ, 
spitting  on  the  cross,  etc.,  all  of  which  was  duly  recorded  as  free 
and  spontaneous.  On  July  3  the  commissioners  were  at  Albano 
issuing  the  customary  summons,  but  on  the  8th  their  messenger 
reported  that  he  could  find  no  Templars  in  Campania  and  Mari- 
tima;  and  a  session  at  Velletri  on  the  16th  was  similarly  fruitless. 
The  next  day  they  summoned  other  witnesses,  but  eight  ecclesias- 
tics who  appeared  had  nothing  to  tell.  Then  at  Segni  they  heard 
five  witnesses  without  obtaining  any  evidence.  Castel  Fajole  and 
Tivoli  were  equally  barren,  but  on  the  27th,  at  Palombara,  Walter 
of  Kaples  was  brought  to  them  from  Penna,  the  doubts  as  to  his 
membership  of  the  Order  having  apparently  been  removed.  Their 
persistence  in  this  case  was  rewarded  with  full  details  of  heretical 
practices.  Here  the  record  ends,  the  industrious  search  of  nine 
months  through  these  extensive  territories  having  resulted  in  find- 
ing eight  Templars,  and  obtaining  seven  incriminating  depositions. * 
Even  making  allowance  for  those  who  may  have  succeeded  in 
escaping,  it  shows,  like  the  rest  of  the  Italian  proceedings,  how 
scanty  were  the  numbers  of  the  Order  in  the  Peninsula. 

*  Schottmuller,  II.  406-19. 


THE    TEMPLARS.  307 

In  the  rest  of  Italy  Clement's  bull  of  1307,  addressed  to  the  arch- 
bishops and  ordering  an  inquest,  seems  to  have  been  somewhat  slack- 
ly  obeyed.  The  earliest  action  on  record  is  an  order,  in  1308,  of  Fra 
Ottone,  Inquisitor  of  Lombardy,  requiring  the  delivery  of  three  Tem- 
plars to  the  Podesta  of  Casale.  Some  further  impulsion  apparent- 
ly was  requisite,  and  in  1309  Giovanni,  Archbishop  of  Pisa,  was  ap- 
pointed Apostolic  Nuncio  in  charge  of  the  affair  throughout  Tus- 
cany, Lombardy,  Dalmatia,  and  Istria,  with  a  stipend  of  eight 
florins  per  diem,  to  be  assessed  on  the  Templar  property.  In 
Ancona  the  Bishop  of  Fano  examined  one  Templar  who  con- 
fessed nothing,  and  nineteen  other  witnesses  who  furnished  no  in- 
criminating evidence,  and  in  Romagnuola,  Rainaldo,  Archbishop 
of  Ravenna,  and  the  Bishop  of  Rimini  interrogated  two  Templars  at 
Cesena,  both  of  whom  testified  to  the  innocence  of  the  Order.  The 
archbishop,  who  was  papal  inquisitor  against  the  Templars  in  Lom- 
bardy, Tuscany,  Tarvisina,  and  Istria,  seems  to  have  extended  his 
inquest  over  part  of  Lombardy,  though  no  results  are  recorded. 
Papal  letters  were  published  throughout  Italy,  empowering  the 
inquisitors  to  look  after  the  Templar  property,  of  wThich  the  Arch- 
bishops of  Bologna  and  Pisa  wTere  appointed  administrators;  it 
was  farmed  out  and  the  proceeds  remitted  to  Clement.  Rainaldo 
of  Ravenna  sympathized  with  the  Templars,  and  no  very  earnest 
efforts  were  to  be  expected  of  him.  He  called  a  synod  at  Bologna 
in  1309,  where  some  show  was  made  of  taking  up  the  subject,  but 
no  results  were  reached,  and  when,  in  1310,  his  vicar,  Bonincontro, 
wTent  to  Ravenna  with  the  papal  bulls,  he  made  no  secret  of  his 
favor  towards  the  accused.  At  length  Rainaldo  was  forced  to 
action,  and  issued  a  proclamation,  November  25, 1310,  reciting  the 
papal  commands  to  hold  provincial  councils  for  the  examination 
and  judgment  of  the  Templars,  in  obedience  to  which  he  summoned 
one  to  assemble  at  Ravenna  in  January,  1311,  calling  upon  the  in- 
quisitors to  bring  thither  the  evidence  which  they  had  obtained  by 
the  use  of  torture.  The  council  was  held  and  the  matter  discussed, 
but  no  conclusion  was  reached.  Another  was  summoned  to  meet 
at  Bologna  on  June  1,  but  was  transferred  to  Ravenna  and  post- 
poned till  June  18.  To  this  the  bishops  were  ordered  to  bring  all 
Templars  of  their  dioceses  under  strict  guard,  the  result  of  which 
was  that  on  June  16,  seven  knights  were  produced  before  the 
council.     They  were  sworn  and  interrogated  seriatim  on  all  the 


308  POLITICAL    HERESY.  — THE    STATE. 

articles  as  furnished  by  the  pope,  which  they  unanimously  denied. 
The  question  was  then  put  to  the  council  whether  they  should  be 
tortured,  and  it  was  answered  in  the  negative,  in  spite  of  the  oppo- 
sition of  two  Dominican  inquisitors  present.  It  was  decided  that 
the  case  should  not  be  referred  to  the  pope,  in  view  of  the  nearness 
of  the  Council  of  Yienne,  but  that  the  accused  should  be  put  upon 
their  purgation.  The  next  day,  however,  when  the  council  met 
this  action  was  reversed  and  there  was  a  unanimous  decision  that 
the  innocent  should  be  acquitted  and  the  guilty  punished,  reckon- 
ing among  the  innocent  those  who  had  confessed  through  fear  of 
torture  and  had  revoked,  or  who  would  have  revoked  but  for  fear 
of  repetition  of  torture.  As  for  the  Order  as  a  whole,  the  coun- 
cil recommended  that  it  should  be  preserved  if  a  majority  of  the 
members  were  innocent,  and  if  the  guilty  were  subjected  to  abju- 
ration and  punishment  within  the  Order.  In  addition  to  the 
seven  knights  there  were  five  brethren  who  were  ordered  to  purge 
themselves  by  August  1,  before  Uberto,  Bishop  of  Bologna,  with 
seven  conjurators;  of  these  the  purgations  of  two  are  extant, 
and  doubtless  all  succeeded  in  performing  the  ceremony.  It  was 
no  wonder  that  Clement  was  indignant  at  this  reversal  of  all  in- 
quisitorial usage  and  ordered  the  burning  of  those  who  had  thus 
relapsed — though  the  command  was  probably  not  obeyed,  as 
Bishop  Bini  assures  us  that  no  Templars  were  burned  in  Italy. 
The  council  further,  in  appointing  delegates  to  Yienne,  instructed 
them  that  the  Order  should  not  be  abolished  unless  it  was  found 
to  be  thoroughly  corrupted.  For  Tuscany  and  Lombardy,  Clement 
appointed  as  special  inquisitors  Giovanni,  Archbishop  of  Pisa, 
Antonio,  Bishop  of  Florence,  and  Pietro  Giudici  of  Rome,  a  canon 
of  Yerona.  These  were  instructed  to  hold  the  inquests,  one  upon 
the  brethren  individually  and  one  upon  the  Order.  They  were 
troubled  with  no  scruples  as  to  the  use  of  torture  and,  as  we 
shall  presently  see,  secured  a  certain  amount  of  the  kind  of  testi- 
mony desired.  Yenice  kindly  postponed  the  inevitable  uprooting 
of  the  Order,  and  when  it  eventually  took  place  there  was  no  un- 
necessary hardship.* 


*  Regest.  Clement.  PP.  Y  T.  IV.  p.  301.  —  Bini,  pp.  420-1,  424,  427-8.— 
Raynald.  ann.  1309,  Xo.  3. — Raynouard,  pp.  273-77. — Cbron.  Parmens.  ann. 
1309  (Muratori  S.  R,  I.  IX.  880).— Du  Puy,  pp.  57-8.— Rubei  Hist.  Ravennat.  Ed. 


THE    TEMPLARS.  309 

Cyprus  was  the  headquarters  of  the  Order.  There  resided  the 
marshal,  Ay  me  d'Osiliers,  who  was  its  chief  in  the  absence  of  the 
Grand  Master,  and  there  was  the  "  Convent,"  or  governing  body. 
It  was  not  until  May,  1308,  that  the  papal  bull  commanding  the 
arrest  reached  the  island,  and  there  could  be  no  pretence  of  a  secret 
and  sudden  seizure,  for  the  Templars  were  advised  of  what  had 
occurred  in  France.  They  had  many  enemies,  for  they  had  taken 
an  active  part  in  the  turbulent  politics  of  the  time,  and  it  had  been 
by  their  aid  that  the  regent,  Amaury  of  Tyre,  had  been  placed  in 
power.  He  hastened  to  obey  the  papal  commands,  but  with  many 
misgivings,  for  the  Templars  at  first  assumed  an  attitude  of  de- 
fence. Resistance,  however,  was  hopeless,  and  in  a  few  weeks  they 
submitted ;  their  property  was  sequestrated  and  they  were  kept  in 
honorable  confinement,  without  being  deprived  of  the  sacraments. 
This  continued  for  two  years,  until,  in  April,  1310,  the  Abbot  of 
Alet  and  the  Archpriest  Tommaso  of  Rieti  came  as  papal  inquisi- 
tors to  inquire  against  them  individually  and  the  Order  in  general, 
under  the  guidance  of  the  Bishops  of  Limisso  and  Famagosta. 
The  examination  commenced  May  1  and  continued  until  June  5, 
when  it  came  abruptly  to  an  end,  in  consequence,  doubtless,  of  the 
excitement  caused  by  the  murder  of  the  Regent  Amaury.  All  the 
Templars  on  the  island,  seventy -five  in  number,  together  with  fifty- 
six  other  witnesses,  were  duly  interrogated  upon  the  long  list  of 
articles  of  accusation.  That  the  Templars  were  unanimous  in 
denying  the  charges  and  in  asserting  the  purity  of  the  Order 
shows  that  torture  cannot  have  been  employed.  More  convincing 
as  to  their  innocence  is  the  evidence  of  the  other  witnesses,  con- 
sisting of  ecclesiastics  of  all  ranks,  nobles,  and  burghers,  many  of 
them  political  enemies,  who  yet  rendered  testimony  emphatically 
favorable.  As  some  of  them  said,  they  knew  nothing  but  good 
of  the  Order.  Ail  dwelt  upon  its  liberal  charities,  and  many  de- 
scribed the  fervor  of  the  zeal  with  which  the  Templars  discharged 
their  religious  duties.  A  few  alluded  to  the  popular  suspicions 
aroused  by  the  secrecy  observed  in  the  holding  of  chapters  and 
the  admission  of  neophytes ;  the  Dominican  Prior  of  Nicosia  spoke 


1589,  pp.  517,  521,  522,  524,  525,  526.— Campi,  Dell'  Hist.  Eccles.  di  Piacenza,  P. 
in.  p.  41. — Barbarauo  dei  Mironi  Hist.  Eccles.  di  Vicenza,  II.  157-8. — Anton, 
Versuch  einer  Geschichte  der  Tempelherrenordens,  Leipzig,  1779,  p.  139. 


310  POLITICAL    HERESY.-THE   STATE. 

of  the  reports  brought  from  France  by  his  brethren  after  the  arrest, 
and  Simon  de  Sarezariis,  Prior  of  the  Hospitallers,  said  that  he  had 
had  similar  intelligence  sent  to  him  by  his  correspondents,  but  the 
evidence  is  unquestionable  that  in  Cyprus,  where  they  were  best 
known,  among  friends  and  foes,  and  especially  among  those  who 
had  been  in  intimate  relations  with  the  Templars  for  long  periods, 
there  was  general  sympathy  for  the  Order,  and  that  there  had 
been  no  evil  attributed  to  it  until  the  papal  bulls  had  so  unquali- 
fiedly asserted  its  guilt.  All  this,  when  sent  to  Clement,  was  nat- 
urally most  unsatisfactory,  and  when  the  time  approached  for  the 
Council  of  Vienne,  he  despatched  urgent  orders,  in  August,  1311, 
to  have  the  Templars  tortured  so  as  to  procure  confessions.  What 
was  the  result  of  this  we  have  no  means  of  knowing.* 

In  Aragon,  Philippe's  letter  of  October  16, 1307,  to  Jayme  II. 
was  accompanied  with  one  from  the  Dominican,  Fray  Romeo  de 
Bruguera,  asserting  that  he  had  been  present  at  the  confession 
made  by  de  Molay  and  others.  Notwithstanding  this,  on  Novem- 
ber 17  Jayme,  like  Edward  II.,  responded  with  warm  praises  of 
the  Templars  of  the  kingdom,  whom  he  refused  to  arrest  without 
absolute  proof  of  guilt  or  orders  from  the  pope.  To  the  latter  he 
wrote  two  days  later  for  advice  and  instructions,  and  when,  on 
December  1,  he  received  Clement's  bull  of  November  22,  he  could 
hesitate  no  longer.  Eamon,  Bishop  of  Valencia,  and  Ximenes  de 
Luna,  Bishop  of  Saragossa,  who  chanced  to  be  with  him,  received 
orders  to  make  in  their  respective  dioceses  diligent  inquisition 
against  the  Templars,  and  Fray  Juan  Llotger,  Inquisitor-general  of 
Aragon,  was  instructed  to  extirpate  the  heresy.  As  resistance  was 
anticipated,  royal  letters  were  issued  December  3  for  the  immediate 
arrest  of  all  members  of  the  Order  and  the  sequestration  of  their 
property,  and  the  inquisitor  published  edicts  summoning  them  be- 
fore him  in  the  Dominican  Convent  of  Valencia,  to  answer  for  their 
faith,  and  prohibiting  all  local  officials  from  rendering  them  assist- 
ance. Jayme  also  summoned  a  council  of  the  prelates  to  meet  Jan- 
uary 6, 1308,  to  deliberate  on  the  subject  with  the  inquisitor.  A 
number  of  arrests  were  effected ;  some  of  the  brethren  shaved  and 


*  Schottmuller,  I.  457-69,  494 ;  II.  147-400.— Du  Puy,  pp.  63,  106-7.— Ray- 
nouard,  p.  285. 


THE    TEMPLARS.  311 

threw  off  their  mantles  and  succeeded  in  hiding  themselves ;  some 
endeavored  to  escape  b}r  sea  with  a  quantity  of  treasure,  but  ad- 
verse storms  cast  them  back  upon  the  coast  and  they  were  seized. 
The  great  body  of  the  knights,  however,  threw  themselves  into 
their  castles.     Ramon  Sa  Guardia,  Preceptor  of  Mas  Deu  in  Rous- 
sillon,  was  acting  as  lieutenant  of  the  Commander  of  Aragon,  and 
fortified  himself  in  Miravet,  while  others  occupied  the  strongholds 
of  Ascon,  Montco,  Cantavieja,  Vilell,  Castellot,  and  Chalamera. 
On  January  20, 1308,  they  were  summoned  to  appear  before  the 
Council  of  Tarragona,  but  they  refused,  and  Jay  me  promised  the 
prelates  that  he  would  use  the  whole  forces  of  the  kingdom  for 
their  subjugation.     This  proved  no  easy  task.     The  temporal  and 
spiritual  lords  promised  assistance,  except  the  Count  of  Urgel,  the 
Viscount  of  Rocaberti,  and  the  Bishop  of  Girona ;  but  public  sym- 
pathy was  with  the  Templars.     Many  noble   youths   embraced 
their  cause   and  joined  them  in  their  castles,  while  the  people 
obeyed  slackly  the  order  to  take  up  arms  against  them.     The 
knights  defended  themselves  bravely.     Castellot  surrendered  in 
November,  soon  after  which  Sa  Guardia,  in  Miravet,  rejected  the 
royal  ultimatum  that  they  should  march  out  with  their  arms  and 
betake  themselves  by  twos  and  threes  to  places  of  residence,  from 
which  they  were  not  to  wander  farther  than  two  or  three  bow- 
shots, receiving  a  liberal  allowance  for  their  support,  while  the 
king  should  ask  the  pope  to  order  the  bishops  and  inquisitors  to 
expedite  the  process.     In  response  to  this  Sa  Guardia  addressed 
Clement  a  manly  appeal,  pointing  out  the  services  rendered  to  re- 
ligion by  the  Order  ;  that  many  knights  captured  by  the  Saracens 
languished  in  prison  for  twenty  or  thirty  years,  when  by  abjuring 
they  could  at  once  regain  their  liberty  and  be  richly  rewarded — 
seventy  of  their  brethren  were  at  that  moment  enduring  such  a 
fate.     They  were  ready  to  appear  in  judgment  before  the  pope,  or 
to  maintain  their  faith  against  all  accusers  by  arms,  as  was  custom- 
ary with  knights,  but  they  had  no  prelates  or  advocates  to  defend 
them,  and  it  was  the  duty  of  the  pope  to  do  so.     A  month  after 
this  Miravet  was  forced  to  surrender  at  discretion,  and  in  another 
month  all  the  rest,  except  Montco  and  Chalamera,  which  held  out 
until  near  July,  1309.     Clement  at  once  took  measures  to  get  pos- 
session of  the  Templar  property,  but  Jayme  refused  to  deliver  it 
to  the  papal  commissioners,  alleging  that  most  of  it  had  been  de- 


312  POLITICAL    HERESY.— THE   STATE. 

rived  from  the  crown,  and  that  he  had  made  heavy  outlays  on  the 
sieges ;  the  most  that  he  would  promise  was  that  if  the  council 
should  abolish  the  Order  he  would  surrender  the  property,  subject 
to  the  rights  and  claims  of  the  crown.  Clement  seems  to  have 
sought  a  temporary  compromise.  In  letters  of  January  5,  1309, 
he  announces  that  the  Templars  of  Aragon  and  Catalonia,  like 
faithful  sons  of  the  Church,  had  written  to  him  offering  to  surren- 
der their  persons  and  property  to  the  Holy  See,  and  to  obey  his 
commands  in  every  way  ;  he  therefore  sends  his  chaplain,  Ber- 
tram!, Prior  of  Cessenon,  to  receive  them  and  transfer  them  to  the 
custody  and  care  of  the  king,  taking  from  him  sealed  letters  that 
he  holds  them  in  the  name  of  the  Holy  See.  Whether  Jayme  as- 
sented to  this  arrangement  as  to  the  property  does  not  appear,  but 
he  was  not  punctilious  about  the  persons  of  the  Templars,  and  on 
July  1-i  he  issued  orders  to  the  viguiers  to  deliver  them  to  the  in- 
quisitor and  ordinaries  when  required.  In  1310  Clement  sent  to 
Aragon,  as  elsewhere,  special  papal  inquisitors  to  conduct  the  trials. 
Thev  were  met  bv  the  same  difficulties  as  in  England  :  in  Aragon 
torture  was  not  recognized  bv  the  law,  and  in  1325  we  find  the 
Cortes  protesting  against  its  use  and  against  the  inquisitorial  pro- 
cess as  infractions  of  the  recognized  liberties  of  the  land,  and  the 
king  admitting  the  protest  and  promising  that  such  methods  should 
not  be  employed  except  for  counterfeiters,  and  then  only  in  the 
case  of  strangers  and  vagabonds.  Still  the  inquisitors  did  what 
they  could.  At  their  request  the  king,  July  5,  1310,  ordered  his 
baillis  to  put  the  Templars  in  irons  and  to  render  their  prison 
harsher.  Then  the  Council  of  Tarragona  interfered  and  asked 
that  they  be  kept  in  safe  but  not  afflictive  custody,  seeing  that 
nothing  had  as  yet  proved  their  guilt,  and  their  case  was  still  un- 
decided. In  accordance  with  this,  on  October  20,  the  king  ordered 
that  they  should  be  free  in  the  castles  where  they  were  confined, 
giving  their  parole  not  to  escape  under  pain  of  being  reputed  her- 
etics. This  was  not  the  way  to  obtain  the  desired  evidence,  and 
Clement,  March  18, 1311,  ordered  them  to  be  tortured,  and  asked 
Jayme  to  lend  his  aid  to  it,  seeing  that  the  proceedings  thus  far 
had  resulted  only  in  "vehement  suspicion."  This  cruel  command 
was  not  at  first  obeyed.  In  May  the  Templars  prayed  the  king 
to  urge  the  Archbishop  of  Tarragona  to  have  their  case  decided  in 
the  council  then  impending,  and  Jayme  accordingly  addressed  the 


THE    TEMPLARS.  313 

archbishop  to  that  effect,  but  nothing  was  done,  and  in  August  he 
ordered  them  to  be  again  put  in  chains  and  harshly  imprisoned. 
The  papal  representatives  were  evidently  growing  impatient,  as 
the  time  set  for  the  Council  of  Yienne  was  approaching,  and  the 
papal  demands  for  adverse  evidence  remained  unsatisfied.  Finally, 
on  the  eve  of  the  assembling  of  the  council,  the  king  yielded  to  the 
pope.  September  29  he  issued  an  order  appointing  Umbert  de  Cap- 
depont,  one  of  the  royal  judges,  to  assist  at  the  judgment,  when 
sentence  should  be  rendered  by  the  inquisitors,  Pedro  de  Montclus 
and  Juan  Llotger,  along  with  the  Bishop